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Call No. s "1 _^- Accession No. 


This book should be returned on or before the date I 
marked below: 

Copyright 1945 by Andrew Roth 








The author wishes to thank Hammond Hammond 
and Company, Limited, for permission to use excerpts 
from Ten Tears in Japan by Joseph C. Grew, and 
Henry Holt and Company for permission to use 
excerpts from Report from Red China by Harrison 


Chapter L Japan at the Crossroads pagt 9 

II. Through Unconditional Surrender to a 

Negotiated Peace 16 

III. The State Department and Japan's "Old 

Gang" 29 

IV. The Zaibatsu Threat to Peace 54 
V. Can We Do Business with Hirohito? 72 

VI. The Promise of a Minority 88 

VII. Japan's Hardy Democrats 99 

VIII. At the Grass Roots 1 13 

IX. Labour against Militarism 134 

X. Schools for Anti-fascists 162 

XL Paving the Way 188 

Bibliography 201 

Index 202 


Readers should bear in mind that this 
book was published in the United States in 
September 1945 and was, of course, written earlier. 



HE DEFEAT of Japan precipitates perhaps the most important 
Far Eastern political crisis of this century the decision as to 
what road Japan should travel in the post-war period. The future 
security and prosperity of the entire Pacific depend to a con- 
siderable extent on the road which is taken. 

We are virtually as unprepared mentally to cope with the 
problem of Japan's post-war political future as we were to cope 
with the problems of war on Sunday, December 7, 1941, In tne 
war years following that day our energies have mainly been con- 
centrated on the necessity for the utter destruction of Japan's 
militarist system and the punishment of those guilty of war crimes. 
We have come to recognize the need for bringing home to the 
Japanese people the fact of their defeat. These sentiments have 
been expressed in widespread popular support for the war aim of 
unconditional surrender. We have also determined to strip Japan 
of all territories it has gained by conouest. And we realize that 
we should and must maintain powerful military and naval forces 
in the post-war Pacific. 

But we must also be prepared to go farther, A sound and permanent 
peace cannot be based on military restraints alone. It can only be 
based on the uprooting of the basic political and economic forces 
which have propelled Japan along the disastrous road it has 
followed. We cannot afford to stand aloof, even in our armed 
might, and hope that somehow a peaceful Japanese political, 
economic and social structure will emerge from the wreckage of 
this war. If it is to our interest to see a new Japan emerge, we 
should be willing to facilitate its birth. And the first step in that 
direction is to take note of the alternate roads which Japan can 

The pressures produced by defeat are many and confusing, 
perhaps nowhere more confusing than in Japan. Nevertheless the 
political and economic forces at play in a defeated Japan tend 
to point the way to either of two divergent roads. 

One of these roads has many well-mown guides and familiar 
signposts for it is the road which is at bed-rock a slightly 
altered version of the one which led to Pearl Harbour and 

The other is a new, largely uncharted road with few signposts, 
and guides who are little known. It is one which various groups 
in Japan have sporadically attempted to pioneer during the last 
seventy-five years without success, but which will be thrown open 
once again by the blast of defeat. This is the broad highway to 
self-purification, democratization and social and economic re- 
form in short, a road away from aggressive, repressive militarism 
and towards a peaceful and democratic solution of Japan's 

The cataclysmic shock of an unprecedented defeat is capable 
of jarring loose the psychological blinders and strait jackets which 
have been imposed on the Japanese by three-quarters of a century 
of authoritarian rule. With the blinders dislodged, and a measure 
of firm but sympathetic guidance, it is but a short step to a revul- 
sion against the disproven and hackneyed slogans of the militarists, 
and thence to a searching criticism of the forces which led Japan 
to the abyss of defeat. 

One of the groups strongly subject to disillusionment with the 
old Japan is that of soldiers returned from half-starved, isolated 
garrisons which have lived for endless months on the empty 
boasts of the Tokyo radio and on false promises of relief. In 
addition, there are countless numbers of small shopkeepers and 
peasants who have been squeezed dry for a victory which never 

If a breakdown of police repression follows in the wake of 
defeat, those democrats, liberals and radicals who have chosen 
silence in preference to jail or worse, will again become vocal. 
These will DC found particularly among the intellectuals, students, 
small business men, industrial workers and even among some 
younger Western-educated aristocrats. Two of the groups which 
the "dangerous thoughts 3 * police have watched most closely in the 
past have been the students and industrial workers. During the 
course of the war, largely as a result of the wholesale transference 
of students into Japan's manpower-hungry factories under 
atrocious conditions, a strong bond has grown up between these 
students and the industrial workers. 

A reservoir of determined anti-militarist and pro-democratic 
leadership will be found hi those among the many thousands of 
"dangerous thoughts" inmates of Japanese political prisons who 
may not have been slaughtered by their jailers. The term 
"dangerous thoughts" has been used to cover a wide range of 
determined opponents of the aggressive and repressive measures 
of the imperialist Japanese Government, from Christian pacifists 
and militant democrats to doctrinaire Communists. 

Ycnan will be able to supply hundreds of Japanese anti-fascist 
organizers : former prisoners of war captured in China by the 
Communist-led Eighth Route Army, and converted by Susumu 
Okano, leader of the Japanese People's Emancipation League. 
These hope to return to Japan to attempt to carry out the anti- 
militarist programme of the League. Other anti-militarist 
prisoners ot war will come from Wataru Kaji's Anti-War League* 
in Chungking. 

Although the advocates of a new Japan are for the most part 
little-tried and little-known, even in Japan, they reflect the 
frustrated desires of the common man, and thus may come to the 
fore in the event of a popular movement of protest and resentment 
against things as they have been. 

The foreign observer of Japan has been inclined to exaggerate 
the loyalty and submission which have been such obvious charac- 
teristics of the Japanese. He has generally overlooked the deep 
resentment against poverty and lack of opportunity which, while 
submerged, is an equally important part of their make-up. It is 
the Japanese peasant's sullen resentment against his oppressed 
status within Japanese society which frequently propels nun into 
becoming brutal and wanton when he become* the topdog as a 

the common man's vast desire for improvement in position. In 
the past, the militarists have tapped this source, particularly by 
appealing to the peasants. They told them that the only way they 
could improve their abysmal land-hungry condition was to 
support the conquest of new lands. 

The approach of the advocates of an improved Japan, on the 
other hand, must be to harness the pressure of peasant discontent 
to a programme of agrarian reform within Japan. It is this 
reservoir, the discontent of peasants, industrial workers, intel- 
lectuals, men and women in small and medium business, that 
must power the movement to reform Japan. The crucial question 
is whether the handful of pioneers who have not been crushed in 
the past years will be able to harness this great potential power. 
The efforts of such democrats and anti-militarists, of varying 
political colour, must centre on bringing home to the Japanese 
people the lesson of Japan's defeat and on carrying out a drastic 
overhauling of the political and economic structure which has 
led to aggression and disaster. 

Against this democratic potential is arrayed a strong and well- 
entrenched opposition an opposition which will attempt to keep 


Japan on the old course, and which will block any drastic altera- 
tion of the fundamental forces which have driven her from one 
aggressive act to another. The supporters of the status quo will 
range from unreconstructed militarists to so-called "moderate" 

The most fanatical resistance to a programme of reform will 
come from the residue of fascist-minded young officers and the 
cadres of the secret political societies; for any programme of 
reform in Japan would have to start with a political debusing 
aimed at the elimination of these military fascist elements. These 
fanatical militarists will attempt to divert the shock of defeat into 
a consuming hatred for the victors. Their tradition of political 
terrorism and their experience in secret organization make them a 
serious problem, not only by themselves, but as a potential 
weapon in the hands of less fanatical conservative groups such 
as the leaders of some of Japan's giant financial combines, sections 
of the entrenched, authoritarian bureaucracy and many large 

If this bloc of conservatives, nationalists and undercover 
militarists have their way, they will limit the difference between 
pre-war and post-war Japan at most to the degree of difference 
between Imperial Germany and post- Versailles Germany. The 
conservative elements, interested primarily in retaining control of 
Japan's economy and political structure, will utilize every strata- 
gem and instrument towards that end. In order to secure Anglo- 
American support, and to provide a safety-valve for internal un- 
rest, they will support the establishment of a pseudo-parliamentary 
Government where the needs of wide sections 01 the Japanese 
population can find impotent expression through political parties 
owned and controlled by the great financial interests. They will 
make every effort to retain the Emperor institution as the most 
effective instrument for their hidden rule. At the same time, these 
interests are likely to continue to subsidize the patriotic and 
jingoistic societies which terrorize those seeking to broaden 
Japan's parliamentary facade into a real democracy or to improve 
the living conditions of the people through such "anti-national" 
organizations as trade unions and peasant leagues. 

The success of these contending blocs in propelling Japan upon 
one road or the other depends primarily on their ability to 
organize and lead die stunned majority. The democratic ana left 
groups have to build virtually from the bottom up, developing 
leaders, winning followers and building their organizations. Only 
the Communists have been able to retain a rudimentary sort 

of decentralized organization during the past fifteen years of 
militarist aggression and suppression. 

The conservative, rightist and pro-militarist groups will have a 
comparatively easier task. The giant financial concerns have the 
power, the funds and the trained personnel to re-establish the old- 
line political parties in order to divert popular discontent and 
unrest into safe channels. The authoritarian, Prussian-style 
bureaucrats and the semi-feudal Court-circle aristocrats will have 
the biggest advantage in already having control of the State 
apparatus and exerting strong influence upon the Emperor. 

The military fascists should have little difficulty in going under- 
ground, because most of the vast network of jingoistic and terror- 
istic organizations have always been secret and conspiratorial. 
Furthermore, they should have an extensive residue of fanatic 
young partisans to draw upon. 

Although the question of which road Japan will follow will 
thus depend, in large part, on the comparative leadership, appeal 
and organizational ability of the competing Japanese blocs, the 
Allies will undoubtedly have it in their power to determine which 
forces in Japan emerge triumphant. 

It has been said that while bayonets cannot make a people free 
they can kill their jailers. There is probably no place in the world 
where this idea is more important than in Japan. During the 
initial period of peace the Allies, willy-nilly, will wield a tre- 
mendous power, a power capable of shaping the future of Japan. 
The victors can define the war criminals, and thus determine 
what military fascist elements remain free to pollute the political 
atmosphere. The victors also have the power of deciding what 
is to be the character of the native officials they choose to leave in 
office. Occupation carries with it the power to control the Press, 
radio and public assembly, and thus to decide what groups will 
have access to these media. The terms of armistice and repara- 
tions will delineate to a considerable extent the character and 
direction of the post-war economy. It is within our power to 
pave the way in one direction, and to erect road-blocks in the 

If the course of least resistance and least effort is followed by 
the Anglo-American Allies, Japan will be smaller and weaker, 
but nevertheless only a slightly modified version of pre-war Japan. 

In the past our closest diplomatic and economic ties have been 
with the civilian members of Japan's ruling oligarchy or with 
the "Old Gang", as it is frequently called. There are literally 
hundreds of business and Government officials who are Western- 

educated and have excellent contacts in the Anglo-American 
world. Virtually all of these supported Japanese aggression, while 
it was successful, but many of them have not been directly or 
publicly associated with the extreme militarist point of view 
and thus feel that they can claim that they really have been angels 
of peace. And their case is helped considerably by congenital 
Anglo-American reluctance to believe anything wrong of Japanese 
who speak English, drink Scotch-and-sodas and don't wear army 

These defenders of the old order in Japan are not only ex- 
perienced in business and well known, but also attractive in other 
ways to Allied conservatives. They can pose as bulwarks of 
"order" and "stability" against "chaos" and "anarchy", in 
Japan and the Far East in general. Moreover, they .can offer 
commercial inducements to trade-hungry Anglo-American 
exporters and importers. 

The Allied Governments, with the possible exception of the 
Soviet Union, have considerably less in common with the advo- 
cates of a new Japan. Their names and faces are largely unknown 
to the outside world. Some of them, particularly the handful of 
liberal and radical aristocrats, have studied in Western universi- 
ties ; but there are more graduates of political prisons than of 
Princeton or Harvard among them. Comparatively few speak 
English, and fewer still have experienced the gay social whirl 
of the diplomatic set in Tokyo. Some are avowed Communists, 
and more have ideas regarded as too liberal by conservatives the 
world over. 

Furthermore, those desirous of reforming Japan must neces- 
sarily support policies which the United States and Britain at best 
have accepted with great reluctance wherever they have been 
proposed. The elimination of the aggressive elements of the old 
order in Japan requires the liquidation of thousands of jingoists 
and military fascists, and a purge of the Prussian-style bureaucracy. 
The reorientation of the Japanese economy towards internal 
improvement rather than external aggression may require 
extensive social reforms, perhaps the nationalization of the banks 
and heavy industries. These are all words and processes which are 
looked upon with a certain amount of suspicion in the Anglo- 
American world. 

No matter how desperately we try to avoid it, the Allies are 
compelled to decide which road they want Japan to follow. We 
do not even have the luxury of avoiding decision or delaying 
action. Refusal or delay of action against elements of the older 

order can only be considered as negative support for that order. 
If we restrict the definition of war criminals to a handful of 
generals, admirals and colonels, we implicitly endorse the action 
of the other Japanese leaders by giving them immunity. Lack of 
interest or effort to rescue the political prisoners before they are 
slaughtered by their military fascist jailers can readily be inter- 
preted as a lack of interest in the development of a new, demo- 
cratic and anti-militarist leadership. 

Therefore, a decision on Japan's future is not only important, 
but also unavoidable. It is not a problem which can be solved 
adequately by reliance on magic words like "moderate** and 
"extremist**, "hard peace" and "soft peace**. Nor can a correct 
decision be reached on the basis of prejudice be it racial, 
conservative, anti-Russian, pro-Chinese or any other. 

We must analyze and understand the reasons for the back- 
wardness and barbarism of Japan. We must see in these facts, 
not the eternal characteristics of a people, but the result of specific 
historic situations, which have transformed the Japanese into 
blind and frequently brutal tools of military fascism. It is only by 
understanding the reasons for the degradation of the Japanese 
that we can arrive at the means for leading them out of the 
confines of their crimes. 

The Allies have spent millions of lives and billions in treasure 
to repulse the aggression of Japan. We have had to learn the 
Japanese language, to study the effectiveness of their military 
and naval arms and to pinpoint the location of their factories. 

An infinitely smaller effort has been made to understand the 
basic political and economic forces which unleashed this aggres- 
sion. Thousands of American servicemen know the classes of 
Japanese naval vessels and their offensive potential; but few 
Americans have any real knowledge of the classes in Japanese 
society, and their roles in the war. Thousands know the names 
of every Japanese plane type in action; but only a handful know 
more than a half-dozen names of important Japanese leaders. And 
who will say that the knowledge required to keep the peace is less 
important than the knowledge required to achieve the peace? 

The securing of this peace is a people's responsibility which 
cannot be safely relegated in entirety to the "skilled hands" of 
the experts. In the past, while many of our officials dealing with 
the Far East have performed most commendably, others have 
been characterized by what some in the services aptly describe as 
"unusual density above and beyond the call of duty". 

When Colonel Evans F. Carlson, leader of "Carlson's Raiders", 
returned to Pearl Harbour in the fall of 1943 *&** ^ seventy- 

six-hour conquest of Tarawa by the United States Marines, he 
was asked for an explanation of the success of that exploit. He 
credited it to "the unflinching determination of our men to do 
the job after they had been given understanding of its necessity". 
The people of the United States and the United Nations have 
most assuredly been given adequate evidence of the necessity of 
understanding Japan. They have paid most grievously in blood 
for previous lack of understanding. Having acquired the lesson 
so painfully, it is to be hoped that they will attack the problem of 
Japan's future with a determination akin to that with which 
their armed forces took Tarawa and the objectives beyond on the 
road to Tokyo. Otherwise we must be considered* as poorly 
prepared to secure the peace in the Pacific as we were at the 
outset to wage the war. 



DURING THE first half of 1945 there was considerable concern 
about the possibility that Japan, stunned by military setbacks, 
would tempt us with an enticing offer for a negotiated peace. In 
February Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., thought the situation 
important enough to warn that America would be "committing 
the greatest crime in the history of our country" if it failed to exact 
"absolute and unconditional surrender". 

The fear that the wily and ruthless leaders of Japan would at- 
tempt some stratagem to avoid the consequences of their deeds 
and set the stage for a future come-back was more than justified. 
But those who warned only against a come-back by means of a 
negotiated peace grossly under-estimated the skill and cunning of 
what they considered the moderate members of Japan's ruling 

strange and contradictory as the idea may seem, it is entirely possible for 
the* civilian members of Japan 9 s ruling oligarchy to win the equivalent of a 
negotiated peace that is, the chance to make a come-back despite accept- 
ance of unconditional surrender/ 


The ruling oligarchy of Japan- and particularly its more tra- 
ditional or moderate" wing is admirably equipped in both 


experience and organization to rescue that nation from its present 

It must be remembered that whatever shortcomings Japan has 
had in material resources, it has not lacked in the resources of 
leadership highly capable of exploiting Japan's opportunities and 
wriggling out of Japan's difficulties. It is only necessary to recall 
that less than eighty years ago Japan* was a weak, strife-torn 
country, lacking important resources and possessing a backward 
agriculture and almost no modern industry, yet by 1942 it had 
been able to usurp the fabulous Pacific possessions of the Dutch, 
French and British Empires and deal a punishing blow to 
the United States at Pearl Harbour, Guam, Wake and in the 

The survival of the ruling class which has made these successes 
possible is made more likely by the peculiar structure of the 
Japanese organs of power. Altnough an absolute and divine 
monarchy in name, Japan's Government in the modern period 
has been an oligarchy, composed of four main groups, or batsu: 
the militarists or Gumbatsu ; me landed Court aristocracy or Afom- 
batsu ; the giant financial trusts or Daihatsu ; and the Prussian-style 
bureaucrats or Kambatsu. 

This type of organization is extremely flexible, and capable of 
maintaining continuity despite considerable shifts in the political, 
economic, military and international fields. After World War I, 
the Zaibatsu (financial trusts) became the most influential of the 
factions in the ruling oligarchy. In the 'thirties, the militarists 
(Gumbatsu) , spear-headed by the Kwantung Army extremists, 
elbowed their way into an increasingly large share of the ruling 
power. The assassination of the more cautious financiers and 
aristocrats eliminated some opponents within the oligarchy, and 
frightened others into submission. At the same time the militarists 
nurtured dissidents within the ranks of opposing batsu. A group of 
"New Bureaucrats" with a militarist orientation was used to re* 
place the less adventurist "Old Bureaucrats". The militarists also 
sponsored a group of New Capitalists (Shin aibatsu) who were 
completely dependent on war for their profits. 

The first War Cabinet of General Tolo was the highest point of 
militarist ascendancy, because it was almost entirely restricted to 
Kwantung Army militarists and New Bureaucrats. Contrary to 
the situation in Germany, the ascendancy of the Japanese mili- 
tarists did not mean the purging of all the other elements in the 
oligarchy. The other batsu were pushed into the background, but 
as military reverses weakened the Tojo Government, they once 
again becatae active. The Cabinet of General Koiso, who re* 


placed Tojo, consisted primarily of a combination of the mili- 
tarists and the Daihatsu. The Cabinet of Admiral Baron Kantaro 
Suzuki, established in April 1945, shunted the more reckless ele- 
ments into- the background and placed the direction of State 
affairs in the hands of a relatively small group of trusted, elderly 
advisers of the Emperor. All four traditional groups were repre- 
sented : Zjaibatsu, Mombatsu, Kambatsu and Gumbatsu. All that was 
required to make it a "transition to peace" Cabinet was the dump- 
ing of the militarists or Gumbatsu. Naturally, a ruling group as 
flexible as Japan's has a greater chance of survival than that of 
Germany, in which Doenitz was the only alternative to Hitler. 


It is possible to predict that the surviving members of Japan's 
flexible oligarchy will have two outstanding objectives for their 
post-defeat strategy. The first is the retention of control of Japan's 
economy and Government in their own hands. The second is to 
help create and to exploit disunity among the victor Powers in the 
hope of persuading one Power or set of Powers to rebuild Japan as 
a bulwark or counter to the others. 

The struggle on the part of members of the present oligarchy to 
hold on to State power is certain to be one of the central conflicts 
of the early post-war years. They realize the necessity of sharing 
this power with the Allied military administration or Allied con- 
trol commission. But they are adamant against sharing it with 
Japanese outside the oligarchy. They confidently expect that the 
Allies will allow the authority wielded by the control commission 
during the occupation to revert at its close to the oligarchy, but 
native Japanese might not be so generous. 

The retention of control of the State apparatus by the members 
of the present ruling group would be essential to a future aggres- 
sive come-back. The conduct of an aggressive foreign policy by a 
State with as limited resources as Japan requires the welding of 
the populace into an obedient, highly effective weapon of war. 
This can be done only by a tightly knit, far-sighted ruling group 
with considerable power and the ability to use it effectively over a 
long period of time. 

The much-commented-on suicidal fanaticism with which the 
Japanese have fought is testimony to the effective use to which the 
present ruling group has put its control of the Japanese State over 
the last three-quarters of a century. A specially created system of 
Emperor-worship, supported by an educational programme and 
controlled propaganda, has convinced the average Japanese of his 

country's right to dominate the Orient and his individual obliga- 
tion to die, 2* necessary, to achieve this goal. An equally elaborate 
system of "dangerous thoughts" legislation, police spying, censor- 
ship, jailing and torture, has succeeded in keeping the Japanese 
opponents of aggression ineffectual. Therefore, retention of the 
system of Emperor-worship and control of education, police, 
communications, propaganda, censorship and the like are essential 
if the Japanese are to be regimented to the same purpose as before. 

The most critical period for the group seeking a come-back will 
be the first one or two years after defeat. The psychological im- 
pact of defeat will necessarily be tremendous. Japan has never in 
its history suffered invasion, and its aggressive career of the past 
half-century has been virtually without setback, much less defeat. 
Adding to their difficulty will be those thousands of disillusioned 
soldiers from the garrisons which lived only on the unfulfilled 
promises of the Japanese High Command, and the arrival of 
political agitators trained in Yenan by the Japanese People's 
Emancipation League. 

On the economic side bombing has produced wholesale devasta- 
tion accompanied by disruption of communications, utilities and 
production. Domestic crop shortages and disorganization of dis- 
tribution and depletion of the fishing industry may produce 
famine conditions in the cities. Food shortages and the shutdown 
of war industries will throw millions back on the minute farms. 
Years of malnutrition, destruction of houses and breakdowns in 
sanitation and public health services will probably breed epi- 
demics and swell the already fantastic total ot tuberculosis cases. 

Under such conditions, it is clear that Japanese governmental 
authority will rest on weak foundations and will probably seek 
support from the occupying Powers. 


One might expect that one of the most difficult problems facing 
those in Japan attempting to retain power would be that of per** 
suading the United Nations' Governments to allow those tainted 
with aggression to remain in authority. This task was made im- 
measurably easier in the fall of 1944 by the emergence of a new 
theory in important circles in the Foreign Offices of Great Britain 
and the United States. 

The magic word in this theory is stability. 

On the American side this theory received its first major official 
emphasis in December 1944 during the hearings bod by the 
Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the appointment of Mr* 

Grew as Undcr-Secretary of State. In response to a question by 
Senator Guffcy of Pennsylvania on his attitude towards keeping 
Hirohito in power, Mr. Grew declared that he wanted to keep the 
way open to support the Emperor because he might turn out to be 
"the sole stabilizing force", and if we did not support him we 
might have "the burden of maintaining and controlling for an in- 
definite period a disintegrating community of over 70,000,000 

This emphasis on the necessity of maintaining stability and pre- 
venting chaos by retaining elements of the previous aggressive 
structure was developed to a much more impressive and explicit 
extent in an amazing document entitled Japan in Defeat, a report 
submitted by the Royal Institute of International Affairs to the 
Ninth International Conference of the Institute of Pacific Rela- 
tions, held in Hot Springs in January 1945. 

The Royal Institute, or "Chatham House" as it is sometimes 
called, is best described as an authoritative but unofficial auxiliary 
of the British Foreign Office. The study group which prepared 
the document was headed by Sir Paul Butler, K.C.M.G., Adviser 
to the Foreign Office in 1944, and for two years previous to that 
Director-General of the Far Eastern Bureau of the British Ministry 
of Information at New Delhi. The remainder of the group in- 
cluded some nine other ex-residents in the Japanese Empire with 
official, educational, religious, journalistic or military experience 
in Japanese affairs. Consequently it is safe to assume that this 
study represents a significant and authoritative stratum of expert 
~~"~ in Great Britain, including important foreign service 

This study systematically discredits every alternative for Japan 
except a return to "the institutions and forces which have pre- 
served her equilibrium in the past . . .". 

It refers slightingly to the Japanese as an "obedient herd" in 
which "the political energy which breeds successful revolution- 
aries has hitherto been lacking". It goes on to express "misgivings 
regarding Japanese ability to operate democratic institutions" and 
comes to the conclusion that "liberalism cannot be numbered 
among those elements of stability upon which Japan must rely in 
the impending disaster". 

Apparently forgetting its charge that the Japanese have lacked 
"the political energy which breeds successful revolutionaries", the 
Royal Institute report warns that the "political confusion" which 
it associates with a non-authoritarian regime in Japan may result 
in an "agrarian-communist revolution" or "theocratic commun- 
ism". "Theocratic communism" is the phrase the report uses to 

describe rule by the fascist-minded young officers. Apparently no 
distinction is made between the theories of the Communists who 
have rotted in jails during the last two decades and those of the 
military fascists who have been ruling the roost. 

Having discarded the possibility of constitutional democratic 
advance and raised the spectre of a communist or fascist revolu- 
tion, the Royal Institute document comes to the conclusion that 
in the interest of "stability" and "equilibrium* 1 it will be necessary 
for Japan to revert to the pre-war ruling groups minus the 
most obnoxious militarists, but most definitely including the 

The tenderness with which the Japanese monarchy is discussed 
is worthy of note : 

The present generation of peasants cannot be expected to 
support with conviction any other than a monarchal regime. 
. . . Bewildered by defeat and encircled by a hostile world, they 
are likely to coalesce round the refuge of the Throne. No alter- 
native to a monarchal system, under the present Envperor or 
some other member of his family, is likely to provide that focus 
of stability which will be essential if the State is not to dissolve 
into chaos in the impending crisis. 

The report makes it clear that it expects that, in this monarchal 
regime which will prevent Japan from dissolving into "chaos", the 
leadership will be in the hands of the upper middle class : the large 
trusts, the bureaucracy, advanced politicians, supposedly moder- 
ate generals and admirals, and a sprinkling of liberals. Then, 
somewhat apologetically : 

If this looks suspiciously like a resuscitation of the "old gang", 
the answer is that a more advanced democratic administration 
could, for the present at least, scarcely maintain itself without 
foreign support. 

Perhaps the climax of this astounding document is the fact that 
the authors are apparently not only willing to leave the Old Gang 
in power, but also to permit them an army. The reasons given are 
eminently worth quoting : 

... It is very doubtful if the militarist obsession of the Japan- 
ese imagination can be removed by external pressure, since this 
is a symptom of a national disease which demands pathological, 
rather than surgical treatment. . . . Notwithstanding the in- 
subordination and terrorism for which military and naval 
officers were responsible between 1932 and 1936, it remains true 

that, in internal emergencies, the armed forces have shown 
themselves to be a stable element in the State. . . . [They] em* 
body a spirit of discipline without which the Japanese might 
[have to] find new resources of character with which to check 
the disruption of society in the post-war confusion. Whatever 
difficulties and disadvantages may be entailed, events may com- 
pel the allied Governments to set up a foreign administration 
in Japan. But, if the Japanese are to remain responsible for their 
own destinies, in a situation demanding, above all, maintenance 
of authority and discipline, the co-operation of some strong, 
organized military force will be indispensable. If the army re- 
fuses its support to whatever regime is established, military fac- 
tions may join forces with extremist groups with serious results 
which might by no means be confined to J apan. 

Sir Paul Butler has summarized the group's position admirably, 
in declaring: 

... It has been impossible to avoid the conclusion that 
there are certain stabilizing institutions in Japan for which, 
although in their present form they have contributed directly 
to the aggressive past, adequate substitutes are unlikely to be 
forthcoming in the present immature stage of Japanese develop- 
ment. Instances of such institutions are the Throne, the army, 
the great business families and the educational system. 


In the early summer of 1945 there arose a crescendo of Ameri- 
can voices calling for a peace with Japan which might be "uncon- 
ditional surrender" in name but would be conditional surrender in 

The advocates of this conditional surrender included responsible 
officials, members of Congress and conservative columnists known 
to be close to high-ranking military and Government officers. In 
general they advocated permitting Japan unlike Nazi Germany 
to retain intact its ruling oligarchy, including the Emperor in- 
stitution, if it would yield its territorial conquests and give up its 
army, navy and munitions plants. 

In May 1945 Captain E. M. Zacharias, U.S.N., former Ameri- 
can Naval Attach^ in Tokyo and an expert linguist in the Japan- 
ese language, made a curious broadcast to Japan. He appealed 
personally in the most cordial language to leading military and 
diplomatic figures in the Japanese oligarchy whom he had known 

including ex-Premier Yonai, Admiral Nomura, Mr. Kurusu 
and Premier Suzuki. He transmitted the May 8 statement of 
President Truman that "unconditional surrender does not mean 
the extermination or the enslavement of the Japanese people". 
He then added that the Japanese "could choose a peace with 

Senator Homer Gapehart, Indiana Republican, was one of the 
most vocal advocates of a quick peace which would leave the 
Japanese oligarchy in undisturbed control of that country's State 
apparatus. In a press conference on July 2 he declared that the 
Japanese had offered to give up all their conquered territory, their 
army and navy and war-making facilities, and the only reserva- 
tion they insisted on was that Emperor Hirohito be allowed to re- 
main on the Japanese throne. He strongly advocated acceptance 
of these terms in order to avoid the sacrifice of "8000 casualties a 
week and a billion dollars every four days". 

On the very next day Representative Glare Hoffman, a Re- 
publican from Michigan, showed a touching concern for the 
Japanese oligarchy. In a speech in the House of Representatives 
which echoed Senator Capehart's position he declared : "If we 
believe as we have so often professed that every people should 
have the right to their own form of government, their own religion, 
certainly we do not intend, when a complete victory has been won, 
to attempt to compel the Japanese to accept a form of government 
or of religion which is abhorrent to them". Representative Hoff- 
man neglected to state that we had never professed that the people 
of aggressor States should have the right to retain an aggressive, 
fascist type of government. 

At first comparatively little attention was paid to these sugges- 
tions since they were considered to be the narrow views of the 
ultra-conservative wing of the Republican Party. However, in the 
middle of July at the beginning of the Potsdam conference of the 
Big Three a series of reports by reliable reporters in trustworthy 
newspapers such as the New York Herald Tribune and the Christian 
Science monitor indicated that such views were held in more authori- 
tative quarters. It was reported that President Truman carried 
with him to Potsdam surrender terms which called for Japan's 
yielding of all conquered territories, the destruction of the fleet, 
army and air force, and the elimination of shipbuilding, aircraft 
and armament facilities. These were described as the terms of 
"unconditional surrender", but it was noted that unlike the 
terms for Nazi Germany they contained no provision for Mi-scale 
occupation of the Japanese homeland or for the elimination of the Old Gang 
of aggressive autocrats! 


If this Old Gang are permitted to retain power, their main oppor- 
tunity to re-establish Japan as an aggressive Power depends on the 
extent to which unbridled economic competition ana balance-of- 
power politics rather than international economic co-operation 
and collective security dominate international relations in the 
post-war Pacific arena. If the United Nations learn the lessons of 
the war and remain united on the basis of enlightened self-interest, 
most international political problems can be solved through con- 
sultation and compromise. This may be prevented, however, by 
the emergence of unrestrained nationalism in the United States or 

If this is the case, and disunity and competition between the Big 
Four prevail, it is entirely possible that certain groups in the Allied 
countries will seek to rebuild a conservative Japan as a bulwark of 
their position in the Orient. 

There are still some conservative British business-men and 
officials whose memories skip lightly over the face-slapping at 
Tientsin, the rape of Hong Kong and the brutal treatment meted 
out by the Japanese to the British prisoners of war in the steaming 
jungles of South-cast Asia. They remember, instead, the substan- 
tial advantages which accrued under the old Anglo-Japanese 
Alliance which lasted from 1902 to 1921. 

By means of this alliance Britain was able to utilize its junior 
partner in further opening China to British commerce and invest- 
ment and in all but eliminating Czarist Russia as a competitor. 

Japan's successful war on China in 1894-1895, spearheaded by 
a predominantly British-built navy, compelled China to permit 
foreigners to establish factories in China. Japan was not acting for 
itself, but primarily as an agent for Britain, because its own 
industry was in its infancy. 

Britain was again a major beneficiary of the Russo-Jap 
War, which came just two years after the conclusion of the A. 
Japanese Alliance of 1902. British and Russian imperialism 
been in conflict in several areas, and the British authorities not 
only welcomed the alliance but enabled Japan to wage successful 
war by strengthening the Japanese economy and fleet by loans and 
naval construction. In terms of immediate results this policy was 
eminently successful, for the Russian defeat at the hands of Japan, 
plus the Revolution of 1905 which was its product, considerably 
weakened Russian power and importance as a world competitor. 

This support of Japan as a bulwark of the status quo in the Far 
East did not end with the termination of the Anglo-Japanese 

Alliance in 1 92 1 . It was strong enough to prevent effective An^lo- 
American action in 1931 when Secretary of State Henry L. Stun- 
son attempted to organize opposition to the Japanese seizure of 
Manchuria. The degree of sympathy for Japan's r61c in some 
British circles is indicated by a statement made in 1931 by L. S. 
Amery, later to become Secretary of State for India : "I confess 
that I see no reason why, whether in act, or in word, or in sym- 
pathy, we should go individually or internationally against Japan 
m this matter. . . . Who is there among us to cast the first stone 
and to say that Japan ought not to have acted with the object of 
creating peace and order in Manchuria and defending herself 
against the continuous aggression of a vigorous Chinese national- 
ism? Our whole policy in India, our whole policy in Egypt, stands 
condemned if we condemn Japan." 


The willingness of certain conservative, Empire-minded British 
circles to consider using Japan again as a pawn in power politics 
is certainly not a product of any peculiarly British short-sighted- 
ness, but rather the response of a small segment of British thought 
to pervasive concern over Britain's precarious position in the post- 
war world. 

The war has cost the British dearly, and at the war's end Britain 
must reckon with the industrialization of former British markets 
like Australia, the existence of a large war debt in the form of sterl- 
ing balance held by India and other big customers, the loss of a 
large part of its overseas investments to pay for war purchases, and 
the prospect of increased trade competition from some of its own 
Dominions particularly Canada. The British are also keenly 
aware that America will emerge from the war with an enormously 
increased industrial capacity and vast capital reserves, and they 
are fearful that the United States will try to obtain new outlets for 
this enlarged industrial plant by launching a powerful drive for 
new export markets from the footholds already gained by Ameri- 
can products and production methods in all parts of the world as 
a result of die lend-lease programme. 

In addition to the huge American economic potential, Britain 
is also concerned with maintaining its position on the Continent 
in the face of the tremendous growth of Soviet power, prestige and 
influence. Field-Marshal Smuts, leading defender and theoretician 
of the British Empire, has indicated British concern by referring 
to Russia as "the new colossus that bestrides the Continent". 

Added to this is the possible emergence of a strong, nationalistic 

China on the borders of India and Burma. This growth of 
nationalism in China is considered by many Empire-minded 
Britishers to be a threat not merely to British interests in Hong 
Kong and the remainder of China, but a danger as well to the 
British position in India, kingpin of the Empire. There already 
exists a considerable bond of sympathy between Generalissimo 
Chiang Kai-shek and some of the Indian National Congress 
leaders, particularly Jawaharlal Nehru. Some Britons fear that a 
free and strong China may serve not only as an inspiring example 
to Indian nationalists, but perhaps as an ally as well. 

With these developments to cope with in the post-war period, it 
is not completely surprising that some conservatives, schooled in 
the traditional balance-of-power techniques, and lacking con- 
fidence in the emerging international organization, should again 
seize upon Japan as an instrument for improving Britain's adverse 
balance in the Orient. 

A "reliable" Japan might serve to check the progress of Chinese 
nationalism. It is noteworthy that even conservative Chinese 
recognize the possibility that a conservative, moderately strong 
Japan will be used to counter China's growth. At the inter- 
national conference of the Institute of Pacific Relations in 
January 1945 the Chinese delegates, several of whom had con- 
ferred with the Generalissimo before flying to the conference, took 
a determined stand in favour of a liberal democratic Japan 
against the position of most of the British delegates, who preferred 
a conservative Japan. Some of the Chinese delegates supported 
democratic reforms in Japan, such as reforms of the agrarian 
system, which they would not dare advocate for China ! 

Some British and American conservatives consider the resur- 
gence of Japan as a means of curbing the great growth in the 
power and prestige of the Soviet Union* This growth is of greater 
concern to British conservatives because it has affected areas in 
Europe which they have traditionally considered a British pre- 
serve. Some quarters in London speculate as to whether the pre- 
sence of a moderately strong and conservative Japan on the Soviet 
Union's eastern flank might curb its influence in the West, by 
making it necessary for the Soviets to divert attention to the East. 

Others feel that a conservative Japan will prove a bulwark 
against communism in the East. In the London Daily Mail of 
March 6, 1944, Simon Harcourt-Smith declared that a group 
of tones financiers, business-men and members of Parliament 
has begun working for a compromise peace with Japan, playing 
upon the old bogey of communism and insisting that Japan could 
be a bulwark against it in Asia. 


Those who arc beginning to think of using Japan again as an 
instrument of conservative policy would naturally emphasize that 
they intend to keep Japan under control as an instrument and not 
let it get out of 'hand. They point out that Japan will be* 
thoroughly "manageable" in defeat, since the application of the 
peace terms strips it of its colonies, war industries, army and navy. 

But there is an essential contradiction in such thinking. A coun- 
try is valuable as a "counter" or a "bulwark" only insofar as it is 
strong. And the moment it becomes valuable as a counter or bul- 
wark it becomes dangerous as well. The case of Germany after the 
last war is the best case in point. 

Britain strengthened Germany after Versailles as a means of 
countering the domination of the Continent by France. In the 
'thirties British and French conservatives applauded the rearma- 
ment of Germany because the Nazis promised them they would 
serve as a bulwark against communism. Thus a prostrate foe was 
helped to become a counter, permitted to become a bulwark, and 
wound up as an almost successful aspirant to world domination. 

And there can be little doubt that the Japanese are every whit as 
skilful as the Germans at this game. The provocation and exploita- 
tion of international disunity is a game at which they are past 
masters. The extent to whicn the utilization of international dif- 
ferences is ingrained in modern Japanese practice is indicated by 
the famous forecast of Viscount Tani, wno in 1887 advised his 
Government to "wait for the time of the confusion of Europe 
which must come eventually" and predicted that by taking ad- 
vantage of it Japan could "become the chief of the Orient". 

The Japanese Goverment followed this strikingly shrewd advice 
to the letter, and in subsequent years its diplomacy resembled 
nothing so much as a swivel-hipped football player engaged in the 
most elaborate sort of broken field running. During its period of 
greatest weakness, in the early years after the Restoration of 1868, 
Japan managed to keep its independence largely by playing off 
Czarist Russia against Great Britain. Not only aid it use British 
support for its wars against China and Russia, but when the bur- 
den of the war against the sprawling giant Russia became too 
heavy for the rickety Japanese economy to bear much longer, the 
Japanese took advantage of Russo-Amcrican friction and got 
Teddy Roosevelt to intervene in the nick of time to secure a 
Japanese victory. 

The first World War provided Japan with its most lush oppor- 
tunities. Although their ideological sympathies lay with Junker 

Germany, the Japanese rulers joined the Allies and limited their 
participation to the seizure of German colonies and war profiteer- 
ing, thus tremendously strengthening Japan's economy and 
strategic situation. -It was only when the Bolshevik Revolution pro- 
duced a rift among the Allies which culminated in Allied inter- 
" vention in Russia that Japan found she could spare the troops she 
had been unable to provide for the European war and she 
attempted to seize large sections of Siberia as booty. 

The emergence of Nazi Germany once more provided the ele- 
ment of serious "confusion" among the non- Asiatic Powers alluded 
to in Viscount Tani's prescription for conquest. Virtually every 
Nazi threat and attack was utilized as an opportunity for Japan to 
push its ambition to emerge as "the chief of the Orient". The very 
attack which was launched on December 7, 1941, was timed to 
coincide with the climax of the heavy German attacks on Russia 
and on the Anglo-American supply lines. 

In short, Japan's aggressive successes in the past have been due 
in no small measure to the ability of its unscrupulous and cunning 
leaders to stimulate and exploit the conflicts and divisions among 
other Powers. There is every reason to anticipate that future 
Japanese leaders with aggressive ambitions will also attempt to 
take advantage of stresses and strains in the international arena. 


Despite devastation and defeat, Japan can make a come-back. 
Whether it does or not depends on whether the United Nations 
recognize and block the strategy. We should recognize that just as 
war is a continuation of politics by other means, peace can be a 
continuation of war by political means. 

The first objective for a come-back is to retain power in the 
hands of a section of the Old Gang. During our military occupa- 
tion we will have a considerable amount of influence to exert in 
terms of the individuals and groups with whom we decide to 
work or decline to work. It will be necessary, within the limits of 
effective administration, to take advantage of every opportunity 
to remove from influence as many members of the Old Gang as is 
possible, replacing them by people of all shades of opinion who are 
interested not in a resurgent Japan but in a reborn Japan purged of 
its aggressive oligarchy and its feudal fascist ideology, economy 
and foreign policy. 

Another requirement for a Japanese come-back is the develop- 
ment of international disunity severe enough to persuade one or 
more of the victorious nations to permit or encourage the recon* 

struction of a "reliable" Japan as a counter or bulwark against 
another Power or Powers. The best precaution against this is to 
centre every effort on overcoming differences among the major 
victors and to build a system of collective security and inter* 
national collaboration which will preclude or sharply limit the 
international rivalries which might result in a resurgent Japan. 



AN OVERFLOW crowd of more than five hundred jammed the 
old-fashioned Caucus Room of the Senate Office Building on 
December 12, 1944. The object of their attention was the hand- 
some grey-haired witness, Joseph Clark Grew. 

The drama of the occasion lay in the fact that these hearings 
were being held as a direct result of a revolt on the part of a group 
of President Roosevelt's staunchcst New Deal supporters in the 
Senate, against the nomination of a conservative slate of State 
Department executives. The fundamental significance of this 
brief revolt was the deep uneasiness it revealed concerning the 
direction of American foreign policy. 

The tumult over the nominations in general and that of Mr. 
Grew hi particular had many of the characteristics of a natural 
storm. Like a thunderstorm, it helped clear the atmosphere, by 
bringing to the fore popular fears concerning the effectiveness of 
American policy in the Far East and elsewhere. There was much 
thunder which was little more than noise. On the other hand, 
there were some extremely effective flashes of lightning which 
illuminated the main problems momentarily. 


The concern over Mr. Crew's nomination really represented a 
growing recognition and fear of a future State Department policy 
towards post-war Japan which would be merely a projection of 
the same theories which the State Department had attempted to 
apply in the pre-war decade in an unsuccessful attempt to stave 
off me oncoming tide of aggression. The general pattern of the 
attack was that Mr. Grew was a gullible aristocrat and the chief 
spokesman of the conservative * japan crowd" in the State De- 
partment which would be likely to favour undemocratic elements 


in post-war Japan, thus laying the basis for Japan's come-back as 
an aggressive Power. 

The Philadelphia Record, in an article on December 6 which 
was later inserted in the Congressional Record, declared that Mr. 
Grew "has frequently advocated a policy of doing business with 
Hirohito after the war. He says that we must preserve the Mikado 
as a Japanese symbol around which a stable, peaceful Government 
can be built." 

PM called in, as a special writer on, the Grew nomination, 
Ramon Lavalle, who had served as a newspaperman and Argen- 
tine Consul in Japan until he quit in January 1943 in protest 
against his country s refusal to co-operate with the United Nations. 
On the day of Mr. Grew's nomination, PM featured an article by 
Mr. Lavalle in which he associated the former Ambassador with 
"British and American tones who declare that the Emperor must 
be kept in a beaten Japan as a safeguard against Communism". 

Mr. Lavalle followed this up on the next day with an article in 
which he declared that, despite his "personal integrity", Mr. 
Grew's appointment could only be accepted "with distress" 
because during his period as Ambassador he had followed a policy 
of "appeasement" and had "under-estimated the [Japanese] 
aristocrats as our enemies, as much as he today over-estimates 
them as our friends . . .". 

Probably the most effective of the liberal critics of the Grew 
appointment was indefatigable, encyclopaedic I. F. Stone, 
Washington Editor of the Nation and correspondent of PM. Mr. 
Stone summed up the liberal opposition to the Grew school of 
thought in a pungent editorial in PM on December 15. This 
editorial was a reply to Mr. Grew's statement before the Senate 
Foreign Relations Committee in which he had defended his 
recora as Ambassador to Japan. Mr, Grew had declared that he 
had opposed an embargo on scrap iron and oil because that would 
have been an important step towards a war for which the Ameri- 
can people were unprepared. He had also pointed out that after 
defeat the Emperor institution might ... be the only political 
element capable of exercising a stabilizing influence". 

Mr. Stone hit back energetically against Mr. Grew's theories : 

The misgivings aroused by Grew's appointment do not rest 
merely upon a record of past errors. His appearance before the 
Senate Foreign Relations Committee shows that he still defends 
them. Like Chamberlain in the West, Grew in the Far East 
warned against energetic measures to halt Japanese aggression 
when it might still have been halted. 

Crew's contacts were with the upper classes in Japan as those 
of his British counterpart, Sir Nevile Henderson, were with 
the upper classes in Germany. Grew helped keep alive the myth 
that we must take no energetic steps in the Sinojapanese 
war, lest we "strengthen" the military, lest we undermine the 
position of the Japanese business-men and the Japanese Em- 
peror who were supposed to be trying to "hold back" the 
military. This was wishful thinking. 

It seems to us that Grew, in his appearance before the Senate 
Foreign Relations Committee, indicated that he had not yet 
shaken off the spell of that kind of thinking. He still thinks die 
Emperor, the heart and symbol of the Japanese official religion, 
the focus of its grandiose schemes of world conquest, might yet 
be used by us to bring into being a " peaceful" Japan. We ask 
the Senate to consider whether there is not great danger that 
this point of view may be utilized by the Japanese upper classes 
to keep themselves in power with our help after the war, on the 
promise that they would be "peaceful which indeed they 
may be, until they feel strong enough to try again. 

Mr. Grew had thus become more than the distinguished elderly 
gentleman who could be seen almost any noon walking along 
Seventeenth Street from the State Department to the ornate 
Metropolitan Club. He had become the personification of the 
predominant school of American policy towards Japan. Not only 
nad he been the American Ambassador to Tokyo in the critical 
decade preceding the outbreak of war, but in the two books and 
250 speeches which followed upon his return to the United States 
he had emerged as the chief and only vocal protagonist of the 
approach to Japanese problems followed by the State Department 
in the days before Pearl Harbour. 

In this discussion of the nomination of Mr. Grew it soon became 
clear that this was not a personal attack upon one of undoubted 
personal integrity who had spent forty years in the service of his 
country. Rather it was an attack upon an outstanding representa- 
tive of the wealthy Groton-Harvard aristocracy in American 
diplomacy who haa become the symbol and foremost exponent of 
a Japan policy of dubious effectiveness. 


When Mr. Grew was appointed to Tokyo in 1932 he had already 
served twenty-eight years in the foreign service. He was first 
appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt to the position of 
clerk in the Consul General's office at Cairo, at the munificent 


salary of 600 dollars a year. Thereafter he held progressively 
important positions in Mexico City, St. Petersburg, Berlin and 

As a result of his extensive experience at these posts he was 
appointed Acting Chief of the Division of Western European 
Affairs at the Department of State in March 1918 ; he accompanied 
Colonel House to the prc-Armistice negotiations at Versailles, as 
Secretary to the American delegation, in October-November 
1918. He served as Secretary General of the American Com- 
mission to Negotiate Peace, with the rank of Minister. This rather 
important position enabled him to sit in on many of the private 
discussions of the Big Four : Wilson, Lloyd George, Clemenceau 
and Orlando. In January 1919 he was designated American 
Secretary on the International Secretariat of the Peace Con- 

Mr. Grew's first appointment as chief of a diplomatic mission 
came with his appointment as Minister to Denmark in April 1920. 
He was transferred to the more important post of Minister to 
Switzerland in 1921, where one of his additional duties was to 
keep an eye on the early efforts of the League of Nations. In 
1922-1923 he was the American representative at the Conference 
on Near Eastern Affairs held at Lausanne, and negotiated the 
Lausanne Treaty with Turkey, which he and Ismet Pasha signed 
in August 1923. This recognized Turkey for the first time as a 
modern nation, free of extra- territorialhy. 

From 1924 to 1927 Mr. Grew served as Under-Secretary of 
State in the Cooiidge administration, the highest post to which a 
professional diplomat had risen. While Under-Secretary, he 
served as Chairman of the Foreign Service Personnel Board, and 
the Board was under continual fire for its favouritism. 

Until 1923, when the pay scales were revised, salaries were so 
meagre that only those with independent means had been 
attracted, and the foreign service had become the province of 
young men of wealth and social background. 

In 1926 and 1927 several very able and experienced men re- 
signed because of the character of the assignments and promotions. 
Under severe pressure from Congress, Secretary of State Frank 
B. Kellogg admitted that there had been rank favouritism for a 
few of the blue blood insiders and promised an improvement. It 
was under these conditions that Mr. Grew resigned as Under- 
secretary and "wrote his own ticket" as Ambassador to Turkey in 
May 1927. This position was both a prelude and a preparation 
for Mr. Grew's subsequent position as Ambassador to Tokyo. 

When Mr. Grew became Ambassador to Japan in the spring 

of 1932, the State Department was headed by Henry L. Stimson, 
who had spent the previous nine months in a vigorous and un- 
stinting effort to reverse the train of events begun by Japan's 
attack on Manchuria. He had attempted to needle the League of 
Nations into adopting collective economic sanctions against 
Japan. Disappointed at the failure of the League to take more 
forceful action, Stimson had proclaimed that the United States 
would not recognize the legality of Japan's conquest, and invited 
Britain and France to take similar steps. The British Foreign 
Office refused to associate itself with Stimson's action. 

In the middle of January 1932, fighting broke out in Shanghai 
and the war spilled over from Manchuria into China proper* In 
March Stimson was able to secure international support for his 
doctrine of non-recognition. By May 5, just before Mr. Grew left 
this country, Japan had agreed to peace terms under the pressure 
of foreign Powers and the effective military resistance offered by 
the heroic Chinese Nineteenth Route Army at Shanghai. 

One of the ways in which the American Government showed its 
concern about the Japanese situation was by the appointment of a 
widely experienced and extremely conscientious professional 
foreign-service man to the post of Ambassador to Tokyo. 


Mr. Grew was going to require all his ability in his new post. 
While he was crossing the United States to embark at San Fran- 
cisco, a reporter met him at the train in Chicago on May 15 and 
informed him that the Japanese Premier, Inukai, had been 
murdered by the military fascists as a part of their campaign 
against those who were considered to be impeding the extremists' 
desire to rush into further military adventures. 

To meet this march of aggression Mr. Grew was armed with 
the State Department's simple formula for Japan : Uphold Ameri- 
can rights and work for a victory of the Japanese "moderates" over the 
military extremists. 

The term "moderate" has been used by a generation of British 
and American diplomats and journalists to describe the business* , 
men and other members of the Japanese oligarchy who have not 
been outspokenly and obviously anxious to precipitate war with 
the United States and Britain. It has been usual, however, to ex- 
aggerate the differences between these more cautious economic 
imperialists and the brash and adventurist military extremists. 

This concept of the Japanese so-called liberals or "moderates" 

as virtual angels of peace battling valiantly against the militarist 

B (D.I.J.) 33 

devils will probably go down in the history of American Far 
Eastern relations, along with the quaint notion of Japan's "moder- 
ate" navy, as one of the most important, persistent and dangerous 
bits of folklore in American thinking about Japan. 

'Like many other inaccurate theories, the concept of the uncom- 
promising struggle of the "moderates" against the militarist 
extremists had its basis in an inaccurate evaluation of actual facts. 
The 'twenties had seen a struggle between the "positive" school of 
General Baron Tanaka and the "conciliatory" school of Baron 
Shidehara, over the question of Japanese policy on the continent. 
General Tanaka, author of the notorious "Tanaka Memorial", 
was the leading advocate of an aggressive policy of conquest on 
the continent. The idea of "safe and sane" Japanese business-men 
restraining General Tanaka's army extremists was one which had 
appealed to the succession of American diplomatic representa- 
tives of Presidents Harding, Goolidge and Hoover who had pre- 
ceded Ambassador Grew. It was also one which appealed to the 
Japan specialists in the State Department, many of whom were 
graduates of the consular service and had extensive social con- 
tacts with Japanese business people. 

This theory had three fatal defects. First, it magnified a differ- 
ence in tactics into a difference in objective. The "moderates" 
were not believers in "peace at any price". They agreed whole- 
heartedly with the extremists on the necessity for Japanese 
domination of East Asia. They disagreed on the need for using 
military force until all other means had failed. They were confident 
that they could get control of China by economic penetration, 
political intrigue and bribery, without incurring the expense of a 
J apanese military campaign and an interruption of the lucrative 
trade with China. This policy of peaceful penetration had the 
additional advantage of not openly provoking the intervention of 
the major Western Powers, with the consequent risk of a war 
which Japan's economy could not sustain. 

Second, the proponents of the theory of peaceful Japanese busi- 
ness-men battling the extremist militarists closed their eyes to the 
fact that even during the 'twenties a very important wing of 
Japanese Big Business, the House of Mitsui, had supported the 
army extremists. 

Tmrrf, the theory was defective in that it was static. It did not 
take into consideration the pressures of economic changes. As a 
result of the world-wide depression of 1929, Japan's foreign trade 
was almost cut in half. Consequently, by the time Mr. Grew 
reached Japan in 1932 the most cautious elements in the business 
community were beginning to think longingly of the compctition- 

free, protected markets which would be available in areas con* 
quered and sealed off by the military. 

The Japan to which Mr. Crew's ship carried him in the late 
spring of 1933 was already on the toboggan slide towards war. 
The militarists, who were at the controls with increasing fre- 
cjuency, wished to go forward with the maximum speed possible 
in the circumstances. The "moderates", on the other hand, 
while they wanted to go in the same direction, attempted to retain 
control so that they could put on the brakes and make detours on 
occasion in order to rcacn the objective without unnecessarily 
risking a crack-up. 


Even before Mr. Grew presented his credentials to Emperor 
Hirohito, in an audience granted shortly after his arrival, the 
Amercan Ambassador was prepared to be very friendly. 

Mr, Grew was not a modern counterpart of George Taylor, 
the American Minister to Berlin in the i&io's, who, when asked 
why American diplomats were invariably aressed in simple black 
while the emissaries of most other countries were resplendent in 
gilt and brocade, made the classic reply : "We are dressed in black 
because what we represent in European Courts is the burial of 

One of the most attractive features of the "moderate" theory 
for Mr. Grew must have been the fact that none other than the 
"Son of Heaven" himself, Emperor Hirohito, was listed as the 
"dean of the moderates". This comforting aspect of the prevalent 
State Department theory kept alive the hope that some day, some- 
how, "Cnarlie" (as the Emperor was called by irreverent Ameri- 
cans) would step in and set things right. 

This idea, too, was supported by a certain amount of circum- 
stantial evidence. The reasoning which pictured the Japanese 
business-man as a "moderate" was equally applicable to the 
Emperor. The Emperor was a "business-man" in the sense that 
the Imperial Household was one of the largest holders of bank and 
industrial stocks in Japan. Furthermore, during the 'twenties the 
Emperor had selected as his close advisers aristocratic representa- 
tives of the Japanese business world : Count Makino, Lord Keeper 
of the Privy Seal, Baron Ikki, Minister of the Imperial Household, 
and Prince Saionji, the last of the Elder Statesmen. The first two 
were closely allied with the Mitsubishi interests, while Prince 
Saionji was related to the Sumitomo family. 

Count Makino was apparently Ambassador Crew's favourite 


^apanese. He describes the Count as fellows in a diary entry of 
July 13, 1952, a month after he had arrived in Japan and after a 
long and intimate" talk with him : 

In every nation great gentlemen stand out, and during our 
entire conversation, which was by all odds the pleasantest I've 
had here, Count Makino impressed me as a really great gentle- 
man. He is close to the Emperor but he doesn't, alas, carry 
much weight in these days of military domination. 

The talk was pleasant partly because Count Makino reassured 
the Ambassador, telling him that the extremism of the Japanese 
militarists was a thing of the moment. 

The strongest endorsement of the Emperor's ability to curb 
Japan's drift to fascist militarism was given by Count Makino 
three years later at a "brilliant" dinner staged by Viscount 
Matsudaira for the Japanese aristocracy and leading diplomats. 
In a diary entry on May 22, 1935, Mr. Grew relates : 

After dinner I sat with Count Makino and had an interesting 
talk, in the course of which he told me of a conversation he had 
just had with Dubosc, editor of the Paris Temps, who has been 
travelling in Japan. Dubosc apparently told Count Makino 
that he considered the political situation in Japan as "danger- 
ous" owing to the strife and corruption among the political 
parties and the risk of Military Fascism on the one hand and of 
Communism on the other. 

Makino said to Dubosc (as the former repeated the conversa- 
tion to me) : "When you return to Paris and make your report 
or write your editorials on the domestic situation in Japan, cut 
out the word 'danger' from your vocabulary. We have a safe- 
guard in Japan which other countries do notpossess in the same 
degree, namely the Imperial Household. There will never be 
'danger' from military Fascism or Communism or from any 
other kind of 'ism y simply because the Emperor is supreme and 
will always have the last word." 

I have never heard the old man speak so emphatically or 
exhibit so much patriotic emotion; his eyes filled with tears 
and he had to wipe his glasses. The manner in which he 
talked tonight his emphasis and emotion gave a momentary 
revelation of the intensity of their devotion to the Throne, and 
I think that the force of that devotion throughout the nation 
in spite of all the bickerings and political agitations and even 
assassinations or perhaps because of them is stronger, much 
stronger, than foreigners generally appreciate. At any rate, I 

was greatly impressed tonight by this momentary glimpse into 
the mind of the usually suave, courteous and eminently gentle 
Count Makino, whom I shall always regard as one of the world's 
greatest gentlemen. 

The Ambassador's anticipation that the Emperor would 
prove an effective bulwark against militarist domination was 
influenced also by his friendly regard for other members of the 
Court circle. This is indicated by the oft-quoted entry of June 
1 1, 1940, in which Mr. Crew tells of the gathering at the funeral 
rites for Prince Tokugawa : - 

After eight years in Japan I had the feeling today of not being 
outsiders but an intimate part of that roup, almost as if the 
gathering were of old family friends in Boston and not in 
Tokyo. We knew well a great many of the Japanese and their 
wives who were sitting around us, members of outstanding 
families and clans. The Tokugawas, Konoyes, Matsudairas, 
Matsukatas might have been Saltonstalls and Sedgwicks and 
Peabodys. We knew their positions, their influence and reputa- 
tions, their personalities, and their inter-relationships as well 
as those of a similar group in Boston. And we felt too that they 
regarded us as a sort of part of them. 

In virtually every decadent or retrograde society in modern 
history there has been a handful of aristocrats who have been able 
to rise above their group or class loyalties and point the way to a 
new and better world. Apparently the American Embassy in 
Tokyo mistook the Makinos, Matsudairas and similar aristocrats 
for people of this calibre. 

Tnis impression was probably heightened in some measure 
by the vehemence with which the fanatic young militarists 
attacked them. Count Makino, Viscount Saito and other Court* 
circle "moderates" were always high on the black lists of young 
assassins who hoped to clear the way for unrestrained military 
adventurism by eliminating all those who would impose restraints 
even if out of caution. Both in the May 15th incident of 19^2, 
when Premier Inukai was killed, and in the February 26th uprising 
f I 936 > when Viscount Saito was killed, Count Makino was also 
a target but escaped unharmed. 

But Count Makino and the others were as opposed to dem- 
ocracy as they were to military dictatorship. And despite the 
extreme form which their disagreements finally took, their differ* 
ences with the militarists were still on strategy and timing rather 
than on objective. 


There can be no better proof of this essential unity of objective 
than that afforded by Mr. Grew's book, Ten Tears in Japan, whose 
diary entries have already been quoted. In an entry dated 
September 18, 1933, just two years after the Japanese conquest of 
Manchuria, Mr. Grew quotes a story written for him "in con- 
fidence" by an American newspaperman. It tells of two inter- 
views, with two leading "moderates". One was with Viscount 
Saito, who was Premier of Japan at that time. The newspaper- 
man reported that the Viscount had informed him that" "the 
Manchurian Incident should never have happened", because 
"the same result could have been achieved without offending the world". 

This same American reporter also told of an interview with 
another Japanese whom he describes as "one of the intellectual 
leaders of Japan", a person who apparently "narrowly escaped 
assassination at the time of the Manchurian Incident, having 
rashly raised his voice against the military party". This anti- 
militarist intellectual leader also had strong views on Man- 
churia : 

He said that the policy toward which his party is working is 
to recognize the Chinese ownership of Manchuria ; but to extend 
the Liaotung lease over the whole of Manchuria for ninety-nine years. 

Thus, both leading "moderates" approved of the fact of the 
seizure of Manchuria, but objected to the method. The "intel- 
lectual leader" felt that Japan could have got all of Manchuria 
on a ninety-nine-year lease, while Premier Saito also wanted 
to secure Manchuria "without offending the world". This is 
perhaps the best proof that the distinction between the "moder- 
ates" and the extremists was a question of method and not objective. 


There can be little doubt that non-extremists had effective 
techniques of persuasion. They developed one technique which 
could be called "appeasement by invitation". This is the way it 
worked : a highly-placed spokesman would come to see Mr. Grew 
and inform him tnat the "moderates", with the aid of the Em- 
peror, had things pretty well under control. All that they needed 
to strengthen their control and keep the militarists from assuming 
power, he would urge, would be some concessions from the 
United States, 

One of the best examples of this sleight of hand was attempted 
on October 7, 1932, ana is recounted in Mr. Grew's diary of that 
date. Mr. Grew's visitor goes unnamed in the published diary 

ftus name being replaced by dashes) presumably because Mr. 
Urew still thought him worthy of protection in 1944, at the time 
Ten Tears in Japan was published. 
Mr. Grew wrote of this unnamed visitor : 

He has had two hours and ten minutes with the Emperor 
in the presence of Count M akino and others. . . . He says that 
the Emperor understands our position perfectly and is anxious 
to stop the anti-American press campaign and the chauvinistic 

war talk. then said mat he wisned to impress on me two 

points, first that if the Young Marshal, Chang Hsueh-liang, 
will only keep quiet, there will be no question of Japanese troops 
going to Peiping and this all depends on Chang's movements; 
and, second, he expressed the hope that after the manoeuvres 
of our Atlantic Fleet in the Pacific it will return to the Atlantic 
next winter, because its presence on the west coast furnished an 
excuse for much of the chauvinistic war talk and military and 

naval preparations here. continually repeated that the 

domestic political situation is now well in hand and that the 
more chauvinistic military people arc being compelled to 
moderate their views. . . . 

In other words, all that was necessary to keep Japan peaceful 
was to make it easier for the Japanese militarists to make further 
grabs, when the time was ripe, by withdrawing our fleet from the 
Pacific and suppressing the anti-Japanese Young Marshal who 
had been driven out of Manchuria by Japanese troops ! 

Ambassador Grew certainly gave a considerable amount of 
credence to the above-quoted informant. This is demonstrated 
by a communication to Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson which 
is quoted in Ten Tears in Japan, marked "Strictly Confidential" 
and dated December 2, 1932, a little less than two months after 
the above interview. Conditions had changed somewhat, as the 
American election had just taken place and President Roosevelt 
had been elected. This election was greeted favourably by the 
Japanese, because they applauded the anticipated retirement of 
Secretary of State Stimson, who had made such strenuous efforts to 
weld world opinion against the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. 

In his communication to Secretary Stimson, Ambassador Grew 
declared : 

The anti-American press campaign has, for the present, 

practically ceased. I am inclined to think that had forae- 

thing to do with this and I dare say that some order to that 
effect may have come from the Emperor himself. . . . 


Later in the same message he continued : 

In my cablegram of November 28, 1 suggested that restraint 
be exercised in handling the Sino-Japanese dispute, because 
coercive measures would undoubtedly result in more firmly 
welding the Japanese nation together in opposition to the 
League and the United States. Any hint of force, either 
military or economic, I believe, would result in the uniting of 
the nation behind the military and would completely over- 
whelm the more moderate influences which are working 
beneath the surface to restore Japan to its former high place in 
the councils of nations. Moral pressure, however, I think, can be 
exerted without this danger and might tend to widen the rift 
now beginning to be noticed between the military and moder- 
ate elements. Eventually the force of public opinion throughout 
the world, coupled with the difficulty and overburdening 
expense of pacifying Manchuria, might cause Japan to change 
its attitude toward the problem. . . . 

This "appeasement by invitation", by which the United States 
was induced to refrain from "antagonizing" Japan in order to 
give the "moderates" an opportunity to get the militarists under 
control, was largely responsible for the continued shipment of 
scrap and oil to Japan. Mr. Grew has stated that we continued 
the shipments because non-shipment would have been a major 
step towards a war for which the American people were ill- 
prepared. But that is only part of the story. We were in part 
accepting the argument of the "moderates" that an embargo on 
such shipments would only strengthen the militarists, and thus 
lead to war. Actually the reasoning that an embargo on oil and 
scrap would have been sufficient cause for war was faulty. It is 
highly . dubious that such an embargo, with the diplomatic 
explanation that the materials were needed in the United States, 
as they subsequently were, could have been a sufficient excuse 
for attack. Furthermore, it is clear that the Japanese attack, 
when it did come, was not due to an embargo or any other 
diplomatic reason, but because the development of the war in 
Europe made it appear feasible for the Japanese to attack with a 
fair chance of success ! 


The striking German military successes of 1941, which by 
October brought Nazi armies to the gates of Moscow and Stalin* 
grad, created great opportunities for the Japanese. England, still 
fearful of a German invasion, could spare little strength for the 

Pacific. France and Holland, both of which had rich possessions 
there, had already been overrun by the Nazis. American fleet 
strength, the chief military obstacle to the Japanese march of 
conquest, was divided between the Atlantic and the Pacific. 

Faced with these rich possibilities, the "moderate 1 * and extrem- 
ist wings of the Japanese ruling group continued to battle over the 
best manner of exploiting them. This conflict is very well 
described in a memorandum prepared by the State Department 
in May 1942, entitled: "Account of Informal Conversations 
between the Government of the United States and the Govern- 
ment of Japan, 1941". In describing the struggle between what 
were called moderates and extremists in 1941, the memorandum 
states that 

"Japan was . . . faced with a great internal struggle in regard 
to methods for taking advantage of the opportunities presented 
some groups were insisting that Japan keep out of the war in 
Europe and gather all possible benefits obtainable by trade and 
by negotiations and threats short of participation in that war ; 
other groups were determined to strike with force if necessary 
even at the risk of throwing together the war in China and the 
war in Europe." 1 

In other words, the non-extremists were willing to use any and 
all methods short of war with the United States and Britain. And 
their opposition to such a war was simply because they were not 
confident that Japan could win. 

The resistance of such "moderates" to the pressure of the 
military adventurists was weakened rapidly by the desertion of 
a substantial number who became convinced by German 
victories that the blitzkrieg was, after all, a much more effective 
means of achieving imperialist domination than the military 
and economic infiltration technique which Japan was then using. 

The last great effort of the moderates" to prove that they 
could exploit the opportunities of the moment without risking 
war with the Unitea States was Prince Konoye's attempt to meet 
President Roosevelt "somewhere in the Pacific" to negotiate a 
solution to Japanese-American "differences". President Roose- 
velt, recognizing that the only basis for compromise which could 
satisfy Pnnce Konoye's requirements would be American aban- 
donment of the Chungking government and recognition of 
Japanese conquests in China, refused to meet the Prince. 

Unable to deliver American acceptance of Japanese conquests 
through negotiation, Konoye was compelled to resign, on October 

1 Foreign Relations of the United States : Japan, 1931-1941, Vol. II, p. 3*6. 
B2 41 

i6, 1941, to make way for those who were willing to risk Japan's 
greatest military gamble. 

In the previous January, Mr. Grew had informed the State 
Department that there were rumours that a "surprise mass 
attack on Pearl Harbour was planned by the Japanese military 
forces, in case of 'trouble* between Japan and the United States'*. 
The decisive test for the Embassy was whether it would recognize the 
type of Japanese Government likely to launch such an attack. 

The appointment of General Hideki Tojo as Premier, on 
October 18* 1941, certainly should have been taken as substantial 
evidence that aggression was in the air and was so interpreted 
by a great number of correspondents and analysts. Tojo was an 
important member of the Kwantung Army clique, the power- 
house of aggression in Japanese army politics, having served as 
the head of the dreaded military police of the Kwantung Army 
and later as Chief of Staff of the Kwantung Army. Later, as 
commander of Japan's mechanized forces in China, he was very 
successful in blitzkrieg methods. 

Tojo had entered the first Konoye Cabinet as Vice Minister of 
War and was chief of Japan's air force after that. He then served 
as War Minister in Konoye J s second and third Cabinets. He had 
contributed considerably to reorganizing the army, strengthening 
its air force and generally streamlining it for offensive war. 
Clearly Tojo combined the driving militarism, the military and 
administrative leadership and the political experience required of 
a Premier who was destined to launch the greatest military effort 
in Japanese history. 

When Prince Konoye resigned on October 16 to make way for 
General Tojo, he sent Ambassador Grew a personal and ex- 
tremely important letter, which Mr. Grew records in Ten Tears in 

i6th October 1941 

It is with great regret and disappointment that my col- 
leagues and I have had to resign owing to the internal political 
situation, which I may be able to explain to you sometime in 
the future. 

I feel certain, however, that the cabinet which is to succeed 
mine will exert its utmost in continuing to a successful con- 
clusion the conversations which we have been carrying on up 
till today. It is my earnest hope, therefore, that you and your 
Government will not be too disappointed or discouraged either 
by the change of cabinet or by the mere appearance or im- 
pression of the new cabinet. I assure you that I will do all in 

my power in assisting the i 

iting the new cabinet to attain the high purpose 
which mine has endeavoured to accomplish so hard without 

May I take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude 
for your most friendly cooperation which I nave been fortunate 
to enjoy and also to convey to you my sincere wish that you will 
give the same privilege to whoever succeeds me. 
With kindest personal regards, I am 

Sincerely yours, 


This letter may go down as one of the most effective smoke- 
screens in diplomatic history. Mr. Grew was undoubtedly 
influenced by the suave Prince Konoyc's request for him not to 
be "too disappointed or discouraged" by the "mere appearance 
or impression" of the Tpjo Cabinet. The degree to wnich the 
Ambassador was misled is revealed by the very significant diary 
entry of October 20, 1941, three days after the Ambassador 
received the Prince's letter and less than seven weeks before Pearl 
Harbour : 

October 20, 1941 

Since the American press and radio arc almost universally 
interpreting the present government as a preliminary move 
leading to an attack on Russia or some other positive action 
which will inevitably bring about hostilities between Japan and 
the United States, I am setting forth certain factors, some based 
on fact and others on valid assumption, which indicate that 
the opinion which appears to have been accepted by the 
American public in regard to the meaning of the change of 
government in Japan may not be an accurate appraisal of the 
situation viewed in perspective. 

We arc informed by a confidant of Prince Konoyc that the 
latter decided to resign and in so doing to ensure that the Prime 
Minister who succeeded him would be an official who would 
attempt to pursue the policy inaugurated by the previous 
government of reconstructing relations with the United States 
and bringing about a settlement of the China affair. . . . 

We think that a reasonable motive for the resignation of the 
previous government was Prince Konoye's belief that the 
conversations with the United States would make more rapid 
progress if our Government were dealing with a Prime Minister 
whose power was based on a commanding position in and on 
support of the Army, which is the controlling force in matters 


affecting policy, rather than with a go-between. Despite the 
fact that, as anticipated, the Konoye Government was suc- 
ceeded not by a civilian but by a military man, indications of a 
willingness on the part of the Tojo Government to proceed with 
the conversations in the light of the circumstances outlined in 
the preceding paragraph would imply that it is premature to 
stigmatize the Tojo Government as a military dictatorship 
committed to the furtherance of policies which might be 
expected to bring about armed conflict with the United States. 

The remarkable ability of the Japanese to utilize the American 
Embassy's vulnerability concerning the role of the Emperor and 
other "moderates" was demonstrated by a visit of still another 
informant. This visit was the perfect companion piece for Prince 
Konoye's smooth letter. The following is Ambassador Grew's 
diary entry for October 25, 1941, almost verbatim the text of a 
memorandum sent to the State Department on the same day. 

October 25, 1941 

A reliable Japanese informant tells me that just prior to the 
fall of the Konoye cabinet a conference of the leading members 
of the Privy Council and of the Japanese armed forces had been 
summoned by the Emperor, who inquired if they were prepared 
to pursue a policy which would guarantee that there would be 
no war with the United States. The representatives of the 
Army and Navy who attended this conference did not reply to 
the Emperor's question, whereupon the latter, with reference 
to the progressive policy pursued by the Emperor Meiji, his 
grandfather, in an unprecedented action ordered the armed 
forces to obey his wishes. The Emperor's definite stand necessi- 
tated the selection of a Prime Minister who would be in a 
position effectively to control the Army, hence the appointment 
of General Tojo, who, while remaining in the Army active list, 
is committed to a policy of attempting to conclude successfully 
the current Japanese- American conversations. 

The informant emphasized to me that the recent anti-Ameri- 
can tone of the Japanese press and the extreme views expressed 
by pro-Axis and certain other elements gave no real indication 
of tne desire of Japanese of all classes and in particular of the 
present political leaders that in some way or other an adjust- 
ment of relations with the United States must be brought about. 
He added in this connection that Mr. Togo, the new Foreign 
Minister, had accepted his appointment with the specific aim of 
endeavouring to pursue the current conversations to a success* 

ful end and it had been understood that should he fail in thii 
he would resign his post. 

The belief is current among Japanese leaders that the princi- 
pal difficulty in the way of an understanding with the United 
States is the question of the removal of Japanese armed forces 
from China and Indo-China, but these same leaders are con- 
fident that, provided Japan is not placed in an impossible 
position by the insistence on the part of the United States that 
all Japanese troops in these areas be withdrawn at once, such a 
removal can and will be successfully effected. 

The informant, who is in contact with the highest circles, 
went on to say that for the first time in ten years the situation 
at present and the existing political setup in Japan offer a 
possibility of a reorientation of Japanese policy and action. 

There are a number of extremely curious aspects to this 
memorandum four, to be precise. 

The first is the striking parallel between this diary entry in 
October 1941 and the previously quoted entry of October 1932. 
In both cases the Ambassador is informed that the "moderates" 
and the Emperor have the situation well in hand. AH that 
the United States has to do is to accept the conquests of the 

The second is the "reliability" of the informant. It seems diffi- 
cult to believe that anyone who was sufficiently anti-militarist to 
be reliable to us as an informant could risk going to the carefully 
watched American Embassy in October 1941, or even being seen 
with one of the closely followed Embassy secretaries, without 
taking extremely -great risks. The alternative interpretation is 
that this informant (who was still described as "reliable" in a 
footnote in the State Department volumes published in the fall of 
*943) was sent with the permission of the military and was as 
much a part of the smoke-screen hiding the preparations for 
Pearl Harbour as the trip of Mr. Kurusu. 

The third curious aspect is the statement that the Emperor, 
"with reference to the progressive policy pursued by the Emperor 
Meiji, his grandfather, in an unpirecedented action ordered the 
armed forces to obey his wishes". Just what "progressive policy" 
was pursued by the Emperor Meiji which has any relevance to 
the maintenance of peace it is difficult to find. Emperor Meiji's 
reign is a long series of wars, climaxed with those against China 
and Russia, with the interim between wars spent in preparing for 
the next one. Why Emperor Hirohito should use the war-ridden 
reign of his grandfather as a reason for banning a war is difficult 


to understand. It is still more difficult to understand why the 
Embassy accepted this logic uncritically. 

The fourth curious aspect of this entry (and others on the 
Emperor) is that Mr. Grew apparently never thought of asking 
why the Emperor, if he really was such a devotee of peace and did 
not want to go to war against the United States, did not make 
some attempt, by rescript or radio address, to tell the Japanese 
people that he did not want war against the United States. Such a 
statement or rescript would have been a considerable stumbling- 
block for the militarists. The fact that the Emperor did not make 
such an attempt would seem to lend weight to the theory that the 
Emperor, like the rest of the "moderates", was willing to use the 
threat of action by the military as a weapon to exact concessions 
from the United States. 

Less than seven weeks after Mr. Grew wrote so trustingly of the 
Emperor's intentions, not only did the * 'moderate" navy launch 
a crushing blow against Pearl Harbour, but the "moderate" 
Emperor issued an exhortive imperial rescript declaring a holy 
war against the Allies. This rescript was so powerful that the 
militarist government established a monthly commemoration day 
on which it was re-read to the Japanese people and fighting forces 
in all the long and bloody months that followed. 


When Mr. Grew returned from internment on the first exchange 
trip of the Swedish liner Gripsholm in August 1942 there were many 
who were anxious to hear his views. The great mass of the 
American people had been shocked and puzzled not only by the 
perfidy of the attack on Pearl Harbour, but by the ability of a 
nation so much weaker in economic resources than its opponents 
to strike a stunning series of blows in all corners of the Pacific. 

Other Americans, with a more specialized interest in the Far 
East, were anxious to know to what extent the attack on the 
United States had altered the State Department views about 

In the year and a half after his return the ex- Ambassador's 
deep, confident voice was heard often over the radio, recounting 
his experiences and warning thkt the Japanese would fight 
fanatically to the "last cartidge and the last soldier". One might 
wonder that with such a firm belief in the fanaticism with which 
the Japanese would pursue a war against the United States, Mr, 
Grew had been so complacent about the possibility of such a 
conflict in October 1941 ! His stated purpose in these talks Was tfc 

correct "preconceived but unfounded assumptions as to Japan's. 
comparative weakness and vulnerability in war". 

The depiction of Japanese strength, ability and fanaticism in 
his first book of speeches, Report from Tokyo, was so vivid that, 
when it was relayed back to Tokyo, presumably by way of Lisbon, 
the Japanese propagandists quoted excerpts from his speeches 
with approval, in order to impress the Japanese people with their 
own strength. The only part of Mr. Grew's description they ' 
publicly took exception to was reference to their "fanaticism". 
They preferred to substitute "patriotism". 

During this period after his return Mr. Grew held the title of 
"Assistant to tne Secretary of State". This was largely an orna- 
mental title without a responsible position attached to it. At last 
Mr. Grew became restive in his role of morale- toughcner and 
war-bond salesman and made a slight foray into the field of 
post-war policy towards Japan. 

In a radio broadcast on August 28, 1 943, under the auspices of 
the Commission to Study the Organization of the Peace, he called 
for the disarmament of Japan, the punishment of its military 
leaders responsible for aggression as well as of those guilty of 
atrocities, the permanent elimination of the cult of militarism and 
the re-education of the Japanese. 

But perhaps the most significant section of the speech was the 
guarded warning : "If an ancient tree is torn up by the roots and 
remodelled, it will not live, but if the healthy trunk and roots 
remain, the branches and foliage can, with care, achieve regenera- 
tion. Whatever is found to be healthy in the Japanese body politic 
should be preserved ; the rotten branches must be ruthlessly cut 
away." This was coupled with another warning: "Only skilled 
hands should be permitted to deal with that eventual problem 
upon the happy solution of which so very much in the shaping of 
our post-war world will depend". 

Mr. Grew and the Japan experts in the State Department were 
probably emboldened by the fact that this speech was calmly 
received, although the lack of criticism was probably due in large 
part to the use of a noncommittal figure of speech. It was 
difficult to object to "skilled hands" preserving healthy" por- 
tions of the Japanese body politic and "ruthlessly" cutting away 
that which was "rotten". The crucial question was just what 
portions of the Japanese body politic were to be considered healthy 
and which rotten. 

Part of the State Department answer was given in December 
043 when it issued the two-volume work, Foreign Relations oft/u 

nited States: Japan, 1931-1941- Of all the hundreds of docu- 


1 043 

mcnts which were included in their i yoo-odd pages the only one 
which the State Department publicized was the above-quoted 
memorandum to the effect that in October 1041 the Emperor had 
forbidden the army and navy to attack the United States and 
Britain ! The headlines the next day read : "U.S. Discloses that 
Hirohito Wanted Peace", "Hirohito War Ban Revealed by Hull". 
The implications were further developed in a special article in the 
Herald Tribune by Wilfred Fleisher, entitled : ^Hirohito Plea for 
'41 Peace May Save Him" and subtitled: "Allies May Let Him 
Remain on Throne". A considerable amount of attention was 
paid to Mr. Fleisher's interpretation, not only because the State 
Department itself had called attention to this document in releas- 
ing the two thick volumes, but because Fleisher himself was 
known to be close to a number of the Japan experts in the State 
Department whom he had known in Tokyo,, and had on previous 
occasions reflected their views. 

An indication of the concern which this interpretation aroused 
in some circles is the title of a column written for PM by I. F. 
Stone : "Is Our State Dept. Building Up Hirohito to Use as a Jap 


The concern occasioned by this indirect indication that the 
State Department still did not consider Emperor Hirohito as 
having any responsibility for the war was dwarfed by the storm 
of comment over Mr. Grew's speech in Chicago on December 29, 
1943, at the banquet of the Illinois Education Association. 

In the speech he declared : "I am speaking solely for myself 
and . . . although an officer of the Government I am presuming 
in no respect to reflect the official views of the Government". 
Nevertheless, Mr. Grew had followed the usual practice of cir- 
culating the text of his speech in the Department, where certain 
passages praising the Emperor were considered damaging enough 
to make it advisable at the last minute to recall the mimeo- 
graphed texts of his speech prepared as Press releases. These 
were reissued after some 150 words dealing with the Emperor 
were deleted from page 1 1 of the mimeographed text. 

Apparently this last-minute scissor-wielding was not vigorous 
enough, for it left intact two sections which, put together, made 
Mr. Grew a defender of the Japanese monarchy. At one point 
he declared: "I knew that many of the highest statesmen of 
Japan, including the Emperor himself, were labouring earnestly 
but futilcly to control the military in order to avoid war with the 
United States and Britain . . .". Elsewhere he said : "Shintoism 

involves Emperor-worship . . . and when once Japan is under the 
aegis of a peace-seeking ruler not controlled by the military, that 
phase of Shintoism can be an asset, not a liability, in a recon- 
structed nation 1 '. 

Newspapermen, looking for a simple and sensational story, put 
these two ideas together and came to the conclusion that Mr. 
Grew wanted to use Hirohito after the war, and that was the 
story they sent over the wires. That wasn't a complete summary of 
the entire speech, which ran to sixteen pages, single-spaced ; out 
it was the most news-worthy conclusion which could be made 
without violating the general tenor of the speech. 

The critical response to Mr. Grew's speech was immediate and 
widespread. It was remarkable not only for its volume, but also 
for the quarters from which it emanated. 

The Chinese Government made a pointed but indirect criticism 
of Mr. Grew's approach by giving wide circulation to an article 
by Dr. Sun Fo, president of the Legislative Yuan of the Chinese 
Government, and son of the founder of the Chinese Republic, Dr. 
Sun Yat-sen. Sun Fo pointed out that the present-day "divine" 
position of the Japanese Emperor is merely the creation of the 
military caste to command absolute submission from the people. 

Dr. Sun therefore concluded : 

To fight this war to a decision means that the common 
victory must be decisive in such a way as to preclude any 
resurrection of a militarist and aggressive Japan, . . . This can 
be done only if a fundamental revolution in the constitutional 
make-up of present-day Japan sweeps away the military caste 
and sweeps away also the Emperor and the cult of Emperor- 
worship. ... It is only by this means that real democracy can 
be introduced in Japan and the peace of the world safeguarded. 
. . . The Japanese people, once they are rid of their present 
rulers, will never want to undertake another war if they can 
exercise their will freely. But they will not be able to go their 
way so long as the Emperor remains a divine institution and the 
cult of Emperor-worship a State religion. . . . Of a demo- 
cratic-republican Japan we need have no fear. On the contrary, 
we shall be ready and willing to re-establish normal relations 
with a new Japan, revolutionized after her defeat, whose 
Government will be democratically constituted and responsible 
to the Japanese people as a whole. 

Of the domestic criticism of Mr. Grew's remarks, the most 
significant was probably that of the New Tork Times % customarily a 
staunch supporter of the State Department. In an editorial, the 


Timts took Mr. Grew severely to task for his suggestion that we 
"sponsor an autocratic theocracy incapable of developing a real 
democracy based on self-government by the people and therefore 
always subject to domination by cliques which can dominate the 
Emperor". The editorial went on to point out that the idea of 
Japanese racial supremacy, which is based on the Emperor- 
worship cult, "confronts us with even more difficult but not less 
dangerous problems than nazism and fascism, which we are 
pledged to eradicate". 

As a result of the deluge of criticism evoked by Mr. Grew's 
speech, early in January Secretary of State Cordell Hull in- 
structed him not to make any more speeches on American post- 
war policy towards Japan because he was associating the Depart- 
ment with the very unpopular policy of supporting the Emperor. 

Mr. Hull's reproval had a strange aftermath. In an interview 
in the New Tork Times- of February a, 1944, Mr. Grew responded 
to a question on the Emperor by the interviewer, Bertram D. 
Hulen, by declaring: "I wish to state categorically that never, 
either publicly or privately, have I expressed an opinion that 
Emperor Hirohito should be or should not be retained on the 
throne of Japan after the war. Frankly, I do not think that any 
of us are yet in a position to determine what shall be or may be 
the precise political structure in Japan after our certain, ultimate 
victory in the war." 

This statement demonstrated how far Mr. Grew, the most vocal 
of the State Department Japan experts, found it necessary to 
back water in the face of public opinion. 

The wide criticism of his Chicago speech, culminating in his 
being gagged by Secretary Hull, made Mr. Grew's future look 
very bleak in the winter of 1944. 

On January 15, 1944, the State Department announced a 
reorganization, in the course of which an Office of Far Eastern 
Affairs was set up. The position of Director of this office was given 
to Dr. Stanley K. Hornbeck, for sixteen years "Political Adviser to 
the Secretary of State" on Far Eastern affairs. 

When Dr. Hornbeck was given this important appointment, 
although Mr. Grew was his senior in the Department, it was 
widely interpreted as being preliminary to the shelving of Mr. Grew 
and a victory for the "China crowd" in the State Department. 

For many years the Division of Far Eastern Affairs of the State 
Department had been divided by competition between the "China 
crowd", composed of those officials whose Far Eastern diplomatic 
experience had mainly been in China, and the "Japan crowd", 
comprising those whose speciality was Japan. 

This rivalry extended to fields of policy. The China hands were 
more likely to consider China the centre of the Far Eastern prob- 
lem and emphasize the necessity for developing China and the 
China trade. The Japan hands, on the other side, would point to 
the substantial volume of Japanese- American trade, which they 
had helped to develop, and were apt to sneer at the possibility of 
China's usurping the important place occupied by Japan. 

The victory of Dr. Hornbeck and the "China crowd" was to be 
short-lived, however, because Hornbeck was eased out of his job 
by a fortuitous development : a virtual revolt of his subordinates. 
This revolt was a product not of Dr. Hornbeck's Far Eastern 
policies, but of certain alleged personal shortcomings. His sub- 
ordinates wrote a strong and detailed memorandum accusing Dr. 
Hornbeck, among other things, of poor judgment, withholding 
from them information necessary to their work, and violating the 
instructions of his superiors. They actually declined to accept 
postions under him. The revolt succeeded in displacing him. 

On May i, 1^44, ex- Ambassador Grew moved into the spacious 
office of the Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs on the 
third floor of the State Department. 


When Mr. Grew was appointed Director of the Office of Far 
Eastern Affairs, Wilfred Fleisher, in a confidential memo to Time, 
wrote that "the American Embassy in Japan has moved in to take 
possession of the Far Eastern division of the State Department". 

Indeed, the so-called "Japan crowd" had taken over. In addi- 
tion to Mr. Grew, Joseph W. Ballantine, a former Secretary of the 
Amercan Embassy in Tokyo, was made Deputy Director; Erie 
R. Dickover, a former First Secretary in Tokyo, was made chief 
of the Japan section. A little later Eugene H. Dooman, who was 
Counsellor of the Tokyo Embassy at the outbreak of war, turned 
up as Special Assistant to Mr. Grew and a leading figure on the 
intra-departmental committee on post-war Far Eastern policy. 

These appointments were widely interpreted as meaning a shift 
in Far Eastern policy. 

Time considered the new leadership of the Office of Far Eastern 
Affairs as "a significant clue to the way the Administration is 
beginning to think about the problem of post-war Japan", 

Amerasia, a fortnightly on the Far East with a small circulation 
but wide influence among Far Eastern specialists, devoted a whole 
issue entitled "A New Far Eastern Policy?" to the implications of 
the new appointments. It pointed out that it had been generally 
assumed tnat China would "automatically emerge as the leading 


Power in Eastern Asia'* at the end of the war. However, the new 
appointments, according to Amerasia, greatly strengthened the 
position of those in favour of a "politically 'reliable' Japan, 
purged of her militarists, but with sufficient economic strength to 
remain the dominant nation in the Far East and serve as a 
'stabilizing factor' to offset any too rapid transformation of the 
political and economic status" of China and the colonial areas of 
the Far East. 

There can be little doubt that the State Department's "Japan 
crowd" tends to emphasize the importance of Japan rather than 
China, and harkens back to a conservative Japan rather than a 
new, democratic Japan purged of its militarism, feudalism and the 
crushing control of its economy by the giant financial combines. 

One of the most interesting and important of the Japan hands 
in this regard is Eugene H. Dooman, probably the most energetic 
and best-informed of the "Japan crowd". 

There seem to be two widely divergent schools of thought on 
Mr. Dooman. Mr. Grew on the one hand has told a number of 
people that " 'Gene Dooman knows more about Japan than any 
other man in America". When Mr. Grew returned to this 
country on leave in May 1939, he left the Tokyo Embassy in the 
hands of Mr. Dooman, declaring that the latter was a man "in 
whose judgment and analytical ability I have full confidence and 
whose views on policy and procedure coincide very closely with 
mine . . .". In the foreword to his Ten Tears in Japan Mr. Grew 
thanks Mr.. Dooman, "on whose long experience in Japan, 
mature advice and incisive diagnosis of political developments I 
counted greatly in the formulation through those years of the 
views herein set forth . . .". 

On the other hand, Pacificus, an anonymous Far Eastern expert 
of the Nation, showed no confidence in Mr. Dooman's ability. 
He labelled Mr. Dooman a "dangerous expert" who "was 
primarily responsible for the execrable mistake in judgment which 
minimized the threat to the United States represented by Tojo's 
appointment in October 1941". 

Both views are probably somewhat prejudiced. * 

There can be no doubt that Mr. Dooman has extensive know- 
ledge of Japan, the Japanese language and Japanese ruling 
groups. He was born in Japan, and in addition to spending part 
of his youth there, sixteen of the thirty-three years he has served 
in the State Department were spent in Japan. During this period 
he worked his way up from student interpreter to the rank of 
Counsellor of the Embassy, where he served as Mr. Grew's right- 
hand man. 

But there is also little doubt that the American foreign-service 
official in Japan, even more so than the rest of the somewhat 
isolated foreign community there, tends to associate with a very 
restricted segment of the Japanese population: the Foreign 
Office representatives, members of large business concerns with 
extensive American trade, the * 'pro- American" wing of the 
Court circle and other American- and British-educated members 
of. the upper middle class* Therefore it is rather natural that a 
person like Mr. Dooman who has lived almost half of his life in 
these circles should share many of the reactions of his former 
associates in Japan. 

Unfortunately, however, precisely because they have been 
conditioned by these contacts, the Japan hands in the State De- 
partment tend to favour the retention of Japan's Old Gang after 
defeat. Thus, various members of the "Japan crowd" have been 
known to discredit the possibility that any groups other than the 
Old Gang have any capacity for leadership. Mr. Dooman him- 
self, according to Amerasia, believes Prince Konoye a good candi- 
date for post-war Premier of Japan ! 


Against this background, Mr. Grew's policy statement at the 
Senate hearings in December 1944 on his nomination as Under- 
secretary take on a fuller meaning. 

At first glance, Mr. Grew's statement seems a very diplomatic 
and non-committal one. Further study, however, reveals that 
Mr. Grew took a negative tut nonetheless definite stand which 
favours the retention of Japan's Old Gang. 

Two themes predominate in this statement. The fi$st is that we 
should suspend judgment on Japan's future. We must "wait and 
see" because there are too many "imponderable factors" and 
therefore the "problem should be left fluid". Mr. Grew declared 
that he did "not believe that the solution of this problem can be 
intelligently . . . handled . . . until we get to Tokyo". 

But while Mr. Grew was asking others to suspend judgment, his 
own Office of Far Eastern Affairs was going ahead full speed with 
plans for Japan's future on the assumption that they could predict 
what would happen ! It is difficult to consider this anything but 
an uncandid attempt to restrict planning of Japan's future to the 
"skilled hands" of the "Japan crowd". 

The second theme of Mr. Grew's statement was his strong 
emphasis on "order" and"stability". During the early period of 
occupation, he pointed put, we would require order to facilitate 
the tasks of our occupation forces, and at the end of our occupa- 


tion we would need "stability", even if it meant supporting the 
Emperor, in order to avoid the "burden of maintaining and 
controlling for an indefinite period a disintegrating community 
of over 70,000,000 people". 

To achieve this perfect "order" and "stability" which Mr. Grew 
so longingly describes, it will be necessary to retain almost the 
entire authoritarian bureaucracy and the anti-democratic police 
as well as the Emperor. Once stability and order become our 
watchwords we almost necessarily become the watchdogs of the 
Old Order and the Old Gang. 

No society can purify itselfas Japan must without a certain 
amount of disorder and instability. Certainly the American 
Revolution was accompanied by considerable "disorder" and 
"anarchy". But is there a patriotic American who would suggest 
that we should have traded our democratic liberties for the 
"stability" of colonial servitude? 



OUR GREATEST danger in Japan comes from the group which 
will try most eagerly to please us. 

This group will proclaim themselves authentic moderates and 
liberals. They will swear they have never liked the militarists and 
only profited from their war with a bleeding heart. They will 
offer to put their administrative and organizing experience at 
the disposal* of the victorious Allies, and thus maintain "order" 
and "stability". They will tell the Allies almost every military, 
industrial and diplomatic secret they know. They will protest 
their admiration for parliamentary government, and at a nod 
from the occupying authorities will bring back to life the now 
defunct Japanese political parties. 

These self-proclaimed angels of peace will be the front men for 
the %aibatsu> which is Japanese for "plutocracy" or "moneyed 
group"; it generally refers to the Big Four financial combines, 
Mitsui, Mitsubishi, Sumitomo and Yasuda, but is also used as 
it is here to refer to the other large trusts as well. 

These Japanese combines represent a concentration of financial 
and economic power which is unparalleled anywhere cfae in the 
world. The relative position of the Mitsui or Mittubtthi concerns 
in the life of Japan is so important that beside them the role 

played by organizations like du Pont and Standard Oil seems 
small. Even before the war these vast, monopolistic enterprises 
dominated the financial, industrial and commercial life of Japan. 
The five largest trusts controlled an estimated 62 per cent or the 
financial, industrial and commercial wealth of Japan. In 19^7 
the Big Four controlled more than one-third of the total deposits 
in private banks, 70 per cent of the deposits in all trust companies 
and one-third of total foreign trade. These mammoth combines 
also dominated the strategic sections of industry, with controlling 
amounts of capital invested in shipping, shipbuilding, aviation, 
engineering, mining, metal manufacture ana others. Because of 
their interlocking control over banking, industry and commerce, 
the Daihatsu were able to exercise indirect control over many 
smaller banks, industries and trading enterprises in addition to* 
those which they operated directly. And because of the financial 
pressure they were able to exert on the Government, they were 
in a position not only to influence the Government's industrial 
policies, but also to secure substantial subsidies, fiscal protection 
and profitable war contracts. 

The pre-war domination exercised by the Daihatsu over 
Japan's economy has been greatly extended as a result of the war. 
They received the lion's share of industrial and raw material loot 
from conquered countries. They also consolidated their hold 
within Japan because they controlled the Control Associations or 
semi-official cartels, and while they profited from a bonanza of 
war contracts, many small concerns were driven out of business 
in the interest of war-time efficiency. 

The evidence is almost overwhelming that unless something is 
consciously done to prevent it, post-war Japan will be dominated 
by the interests of these giant combines. During the last quarter 
of a century the militarists and the Daihatsu have been the most 
dynamic and powerful elements in the oligarchy ruling Japan. 
The very elimination or crushing of the militarists by defeat and 
disarmament will leave the Daihatsu with almost a monopoly of 
power in the ruling class. 

gaibatsu domination is also made more likely by the prevalent 
assumption that there is a "moderate" anti-militarist group in 
Japanese business and financial circles upon which we can depend, 
and that by offering economic inducements to this group we can 
persuade them to adopt a peaceful and co-operative policy. 
This argument finds a ready audience among prospective Angio- 
Americ|in occupation officials who feel that a post-war r 
will have to rely on %aibatsu technical personnel to keep 
from disintegrating into "chaos" and anarchy". The 

"moderates" arc also eagerly defended in certain Anglo-American 
financial and commercial circles that enjoyed profitable pre-war 
relations with the Japanese trusts, and are easily persuaded that 
it would be difficult and unnecessary to alter the basic structure 
of the Japanese economy. 

Another fact aiding the Daihatsu is the fact that plans for the 
future of Japan which have emanated from official and semi- 
official sources appear to be almost exclusively concerned with 
how to render Japan incapable of aggression by stripping her of 
her colonies and armed forces, supervising her industries and the 
like. Comparatively little attention has been paid to the even 
more important problem of the reorientation of the Japanese 
economy with a view towards encouraging the development of 
an economically trustworthy Japan that will not wish to solve 
its problems by military aggression. There has been very little 
recognition of the fact that Japanese militarism, like German 
Nazism, is an organic disease with roots in Japan's past inability 
to find a peaceful solution to its economic problems. 

Since it seems likely that we shall have a ^aibatsu-dominated 
Japan unless something is consciously done to prevent it, it is 
important to see what this would mean in terms of the mainten- 
ance of peace in the Pacific. Will a Daihatsu Japan be a trust- 
worthy Japan? Would it be consistent with the United Nations' 
abiding desire for an enduring peace? 

This problem must be examined in terms of the aims and 
interests of the Daihatsu as a group. For though there are un- 
questionably individual representatives of these giant combines 
who are sincerely peaceful and liberal in their outlook, a policy 
cannot be based on the views of individuals, particularly in a 
country like Japan, where family and group loyalties are very 
strong. It must take into consideration the fundamental factors 
that have determined the development of the Daihatsu in modern 
Japan, and that have a bearing on the probable aims of a 
aibatstt-con trolled Japan in the post-war world. 


Many Americans, anxious to find some group on whom we 
can lean for support while building a better Japan, are not in- 
clined to be too critical of the Daihatsu. Their outlook has doubt- 
less been conditioned by the knowledge that the United States 
has developed a great democracy and the highest living standards 
in the world in an era in which American trusts and industrial 
combines have played a very important role in the political and 
economic life of the country. It is dangerous, however, to 

generalize from the experience of the United States; because 
Japan and the United States represent the opposite extremes of 
modern economic development. Japanese industry has developed 
on the basis of an extremely limited internal market, while 
American capitalism has been conditioned by the existence of a 
very great domestic market for consumer goods as well as for 
industrial and farm machinery. 

The limitations of Japan's internal market are due largely to 
the peculiarities of the modernization of Japan during the 
Meiji era (1868-1912). The Meiii Restoration of 1868 was led 
by an aspiring wing of the feudal militarist aristocracy with the 
backing of the budding business and financial interests of Kyoto 
and Osaka. The leading role was necessarily played by the 
feudal lords, because of the comparative weakness of the mer- 
chants and bankers, who had been shut off from foreign trade 
by the isolationist policies of the regime which preceded the 
Meiji Restoration. As a result of this weakness, Japan's transition 
to a modern capitalist economy did not involve an uprooting of 
Japan's feudal agricultural system comparable to that which 
ensued in England and France during the growth of capitalism 
in those countries. 

Under the terms of the Meiji land settlement, the serfs of feudal 
Japan were converted into independent farmers. But the con- 
tinuation of feudal levels of rent involving 50-60 per cent of 
the crop usurious interest rates, and a land tax on money whose 
whole weight fell on the peasantry, caused many to lose their 
land and sharply limited the peasants' power to purchase con- 
sumer goods, farm machinery and other products of Japan's 
new industries. Since they were unable to develop a profitable 
market among the peasants, Japan's industrialists were almost 
immediately compelled to seek markets abroad. 

The low level of agricultural income and the existence of a 
large agricultural population that could not find employment on 
the land provided a source of cheap industrial labour that was of 
great advantage in many cases where Japanese industry was not 
as highly mechanized as its major competitors in world markets. 

Thus, the inadequacy of the internal market provided the 
shotgun which wedded the Daihatsu to militarism. The inability 
of Japan's low-paid peasants and industrial workers to provide a 
stable and expanding internal market compelled Japan's in- 
dustrialists and bankers to indulge in aggressive trade ex* 
pansion that came to be linked inevitably with the militarists' 
drive for territorial conquest by force of arms. 

In addition to the profits reaped from the acquisition of 


c6lonics, there had been another reason for a community of 
interest between the ^aibatsu and militarism. Industry has 
developed on a basis of intensive exploitation of labour, which has 
resulted in widespread discontent and movements of protest on 
the part of the Japanese people. Thus the Daihatsu has needed 
the military to maintain "order" at home, as well as to open up 
new opportunities for Japanese business abroad. 


For three-quarters of a century the Daihatsu has been an in- 
dispensable partner of militarism in Japan's unending series of 
aggressions. As a consequence, war and preparation for war 
have exercised an unprecedented influence on Japan's industrial 

Modern industry in Japan received its first great impetus from 
the determined efforts of the Meiji Government to develop 
strategic industries as a base for a modern army and navy. 
Because of the comparative weakness of Japanese capitalism and 
its reluctance to invest in new and uncertain enterprises, the 
Meiji policy was to establish strategic industries under Govern- 
ment control, develop them to a high level of technical efficiency 
and then sell a large proportion of them at very low prices to a 
handful of trusted financial oligarchs. This was the origin of the 
modern aibatsu. And even after the sale of these enterprises, 
the State continued to encourage the ai0&n-owned strategic 
industries with generous subsidies. 

The next impetus to Japanese heavy industry was the Sino- 
Japanese War of 1894-1895. The manufacture of war materials, 
the Chinese indemnity of 350,000,000 yen which was invested 
in war industries, and the opening of new Chinese markets all 
served to stimulate the accumulation of capital and the industrial 
development of Japan. The Russo-Japanese War provided a 
third impetus, and the Russian war indemnity of 200,000,000 
yen also went into industry in the form of Government subsidies. 

The Daihatsu grew tremendously strong as a result of the first 
World War. Japan was second only to the United States as a 
supplier of the Allies and enjoyed an even greater proportionate 
increase in foreign trade. Much of this capital was accumulated 
as a result of shameless war profiteering at the expense of Japan's 

One of the most amazing stories about the ill-gotten gains 
of this period concerns Mr. Fusanosuke Kuhara, a most enter- 
prising business-man. As owner of a shipyard, the Nippon 
Steamship Company, he took an order in 191 7 for four ships from 

the British Government, for which he received nearly 2,000,000 
yen in advance and facilities for importing steel, which was then 
almost unavailable, from the United States. The ships were to be 
delivered late in 1917, but were not ready, and therefore the 
time was extended. On November n, 1918, they were still un- 
delivered, so the agents for the British ^Government cancelled 
the contract and demanded the 2,000,000 yen back. Kuhara re- 
fused on the ground that as no limit had been placed on the ex- 
tension of time the contract was interminable. Actually the keels 
had never been laid. Having lost his case in every court to which 
he could appeal, Kuhara promised to pay by instalments on 
condition that no bankruptcy proceedings should be taken. 

(In 1927 General Baron Tanaka, the Premier, with whom he 
was on very friendly terms, wanted to make Kuhara Foreign 
Minister, when a newspaper disclosed the fact that none of the 
instalments had been paid and the British Ambassador informed 
Baron Tanaka that it would be embarrassing to deal with a 
Foreign Minister who owed his Government money. So Kuhara 
had to be content with the Ministry of Communications, for 
which the little affair was not considered a disqualification.) 

Thanks to Japan's vast war profits and small war expenditures, 
the Daihatsu were able to expand their operations in every field 
of industry, finance and trade, export large sums of capital and 
accumulate a considerable amount of foreign currency. The 
capital invested in the Japanese national economy increased 
sevenfold during the war period. During the war years and the 
post-war crisis the gatbalsu financial and industrial interests were 
able to gobble up many smaller concerns, thus strengthening their 
monopolistic hold on the economy. Between 1913 and 1919, the 
number of banks decreased from 1614 to 1344, while their paid- 
up capital increased from 390,000,000 yen to 707,000,000 yen. 
*ty 1923, 37*8 per cent of the total resources of Japanese banks 
consisted of stocks and shares, demonstrating their deep penetra- 
tion into the sphere of production. 

As a result of the tremendous accretion of economic power 
which came with the war of 1914-18, the political position of the 
Zaibatsu within the Japanese oligarchy was greatly strengthened 
in the 1920*8. At the same time Japan had its brief flowering of 
parliamentary government, and there was a conflict between 
the advocates of a "positive" policy of aggression on the Asiatic 
continent and those favouring a more "conciliatory policy of 
economic penetration, preferably without the use of armed 


force. On the basis of a misinterpretation of these facts, some 
American and British commentators have put together an over- 
simplified picture of the Daihatsu as the defenders of democracy 
and the proponents of peace. It is important to analyse this still- 
prevalent fiction, because many of those planning Japan's future 
in Washington and London look back to the 'twenties in Japan 
as the "Liberal Decade" which we must seek to recapture. 

The post-war increase in Daihatsu political influence is best 
indicated by the Kato Government of 1924-1925, known in 
Japan as the "Mitsubishi Gang". Both Premier Kato and Baron 
Shidehara, the Foreign Minister, were related by marriage to 
the Iwasaki family, which controlled the Mitsubishi interests. 
Two other members of the Kato Government were directly 
associated with Mitsubishi, while the remainder of the Cabinet 
was indirectly linked with financial and industrial circles related 
to that firm. The growing influence of industrial and financial 
interests also penetrated the higher ranks of the bureaucracy. 
Previously sucn institutions as the Imperial Household Ministry, 
the Elder Statesmen and the House of Peers had been the ex- 
clusive preserve of the military nobility. Now, however, the 
influence of Big Business was felt in all these spheres. It made 
possible the formation of a pro-Mitsubishi clique in the imperial 
palace, including Count Makino, Lord Privy Seal, and Baron 
Ikki, Minister of the Imperial Household. Prince Saionji, last 
of the Elder Statesmen, was also sympathetic to the business 
interests because he was related to the founder of the Sumitomo 
concern and the uncle of its then owner. 

Actually the Emperor himself could be designated as a member 
of the %aibatsu t since he had come into possession of about a 
half-billion yen in stocks and bonds or almost as much as the 
fabulous %aibatsu families. He controlled 140,000 of 300,000 
shares of the Bank of Japan, the next largest block being 6000 
shares. He also had effective control through 22 per cent of the 
stock of the Yokohama Specie Bank, the bank controlling foreign 
financing. And he shared control of the N. Y. K. shipping lines 
with the Mitsubishi interests. 

The %aibaisu had not only the power but also the opportunity 
for its maintenance and improvement. The whole structure of 
the Japanese autocracy had been shaken by the Rice Riots of 
1918, which aroused millions and forced the resignation of the 
military aristocratic Government of Premier Marshal Terauchi. 
This powerful ferment could have been harnessed to a reform 
movement to clear out the feudal, militarist elements of the 
Japanese social and political structure and institute a modern 

democracy, for such were the popular demands of the post-war 

Instead, the Daihatsu dissipated this democratic upsurge and 
perverted it to its own ends by siphoning off the discontent into 
a carefully controlled parliamentary system. Parliamentary 
government was considered "safe" by the gaibatstt, not only 
because the imperial constitution guarded against real popular 
control of the Government, but also because tJhe Daihatsu literally 
owned the two major political parties: the Seiyukai was the 
property of the Mitsui, and the Mitsubishi controlled the Minseito. 

This control was maintained by vast slush funds. The members 
of the Diet received tremendous campaign funds from the 
Zjaibatsu for bribing the voters and thus securing their seats. And 
bribery was used within the Diet to gain additional votes on 
specific issues, as well as to bring about party switches. In June 
1927 the Seiyukai obtained the adherence of twenty-two Diet 
members at the cost of 5000 yen per head. This money was 
paid by the Mitsui trust to keep control of the Diet. 

Those who were not satisfied with the Zaibatsu-controllcd 
political parties were severely "discouraged" from seeking to 
carry out democratic or social reforms. Those who wanted only 
moderate social and economic reforms were harassed by police 
surveillance, censorship and the like. Those groups who ad- 
vocated basic changes in the Japanese structure were ruthlessly 
suppressed. During 1923 and 1924 a group of industrialists led 
by Marquis Ito, the electric power tycoon, and Sanji Muto, 
the textile king, offered the police a reward of 250,000 yen to 
stamp out the proletarian movement. When universal male 
suffrage was finally granted in 1925, the Peace Preservation Act, 
sometimes referred to as the "Law Against Dangerous Thoughts", 
was passed almost simultaneously. This law granted the police 
complete freedom of action to arrest those who discussed or 
desired changes in the "national structure" and waa designed 
to halt the activities of all radical organizations and to neutralize 
any influence they might exert on the elections, which were now 
open to 13,000,000 instead of 2,800,000 voters. And in 1928, by 
an imperial ordinance signed by Emperor Hirohito, "dangerous 
thoughts" became punishable by death. Under this law more 
than 10,000 people were arrested in the period from 1928 to 1931. 


The Daihatsu was just about as "peaceful" in its foreign policy 
as it was "democratic" in its internal policy in the 'twenties* 
It is true that the Daihatsu firms were deeply involved in the 


division over foreign policy. But they were involved on both aides. 
The organizing centres of the two differing trends in foreign 
policy were the twin giants of the Japanese economy, the Mitfcui 
and Mitsubishi trusts. The House ot Mitsui not only controlled 
the Seiyukai Party, but also had close connections with he 
Chpshu clan, which dominated the army until fairly recently. 
This Mitsui-Stiyukai-army alignment favoured an aggressive 
foreign policy and one directed particularly against China and 
Russia. Its chief protagonist was General Baron Tanaka, Preitticr 
from 1927 to 1929, author of the notorious Tanaka Memorial,, 

. The Mitsubishi combine, which controlled the Minseito Par^y, 
was closely connected with the Satsuma clan and with the navty, 
in which the Satsumas had long been influential. The Mitsubishi- 
Minseito-navy alignment was further strengthened by the fack 
that Mitsubishi owned the N. Y. K. lines and various shipyard* 
that built not only merchant but naval vessels. During the> 
'twenties, Mitsubishi was deeply interested in foreign trade and 
considered the Tanaka policy of armed aggression towards 
China as unnecessary for the achievement of Japanese economic 
domination over East Asia. Previous acts of aggression had cost 
them dearly in Chinese boycotts of their goods. 

The chief protagonist of the Mitsubishi-Minseito jx>licy of 
economic penetration by all means short of war, if possible, was 
Baron Kijuro Shidehara Japan's Minister of Foreign Affairs in 
six of the seven Governments that held office between June 1924 
and December 1931. He became so closely associated with the 
more moderate policy of penetration that it is frequently called 
the "Shidehara policy", and he is often held up as evidence that 
a genuinely liberal section in Japan's civilian ruling class exists. 
However, it soon became clear that Shidehara was only a useful 
tool for a powerful section of the Daihatsu that for the moment 
favoured a policy of "peaceful" economic penetration. During 
the 'thirties support for this policy diminished rapidly, and 
Shidehara ceased to be a political influence. This was partly 
the result of pressure from the militarists. But militarism was 
not the only influence on the predominantly civilian govern- 
ments that led Japan into an ever-expanding programme of 
aggression against China and Indo-China and the foreign 
interests in those areas. Economic factors also played an im- 
portant part in altering the attitude of former advocates of a 

'moderate" policy. Between 1929 and 1931 Japan's foreign 
trade was reduced by nearly half, and the economic crisis that 
gripped Japan in 1931 was accentuated by the conservative 
deflationary policy of the Minseito Government. 

As a result, protected colonial markets conquered and sealed 
off by the military "extremists'* appeared increasingly desirable, 
even to the "moderate" Japanese business and financial interests. 

Mr. Ginjiro Fujiwara, then head of the Mitsui paper monopoly, 
tjie Oji Paper Company, spoke for ever wider sections of the 
Daihatsu wnen he declared in his Spirit of Japanese Industry 

>(P- '34)= 

Diplomacy without force is of no value. No matter how 
diligent the Japanese may be, no matter how superior their 
technical development or industrial administration may be, 
there will be no hope for Japan's trade expansion if there 
is no adequate force to back it. Now the greatest of forces 
is military preparedness founded on the Army and Navy. 
We can safely expand abroad and engage in various enter- 
prises, if we are confident of protection. In this sense, any 
outlay for armament is a form of investment. 

An 'important, though indirect, influence was also exerted on 
the * 'moderate" sections of the Daihatsu by the larger and larger 
war budgets sponsored by the army and navy authorities. 
Mounting military and naval expenditures were primarily re- 
sponsible for the snift from light to heavy industry that occurred 
throughout the 'thirties and resulted in a substantial increase in 
the production of munitions and the accelerated growth of the 
aircraft and automotive (tank) industries, which had been the 
most backward feature of the Japanese war economy. 

This influence has been particularly important in converting 
Mitsubishi to wholehearted support of military aggression. 
The two industries receiving the greatest impetus from war and 
preparation for war are aviation and shipbuilding, both naval 
and merchant. Mitsubishi is the largest firm in the shipbuilding 
industry and (with Nakajima) one of the two largest in aviation. 

The shipbuilding industry was particularly badly hit by the 
depression of 1930-1933, and the preparations for armed 
aggression came to its rescue. Almost 3,000,000,000 yen were 
allotted in four naval programmes beginning in 1931, and three- 
quarters of that went to private companies. Large subsidies 
were granted to insure the development of a large, speedy mer- 
chant marine. The declared capital of the seven largest ship- 
building companies more than doubled between the outbreak of 
the China War in 10.37 and the outbreak of the Pacific War in 
1941. Mitsubishi shipbuilding itself had a declared capital of 
120,000,000 yen in 1937; by 1941 it had 240,000,000 yen. By 
1945 ** reached 1,000,000,000 yen. 


Mitsubishi profited to an even greater degree from the expansion 
of the aviation industry due to the war in China and preparations 
for the Pacific war. The paid-up capital of Mitsubishi's aircraft 
subsidiary increased from 10,000,000 yen in 1937 to about 
60,000,000 yen in 1943. 

At the same time that large war contracts gave the older 
members of the Zjaibatsu an important stake in the "positive" 
policy of continental expansion, there emerged a new group of 
entrepreneurs closely associated with the army. These were the 
Shin Daihatsu or "New gaibatsu", and the most prominent member 
of this group is the Nissan firm controlled until recently by Mr. 
Gisuke Aikawa, brother-in-law of Kuhara. The emergence of 
these army-allied concerns was a potent reminder to the older 
members of the aibatsu that if they did not want to play ball 
in this very profitable game there were others who would. 

The warning seemed hardly .necessary, for the Daihatsu not 
only collaborated in the productive field, but worked closely 
with the Japanese army and navy in espionage throughout the 
world. The foreign offices of Mitsubishi and Mitsui were an 
important part of the network of Japanese espionage organizations 
abroad, harbouring undercover agents and serving as a postal 
system for relaying information back to Japan. Through their 
commercial and cartel relations with American firms, they were 
able to secure valuable information. Just six months prior to 
their attack, the Japanese military forces were able to learn 
through Mitsubishi how much oil and gasoline were being shipped 
to Pearl Harbour. 

These developments in the 'thirties, and particularly after 
the outbreak of the war in China, helped to weld the Daihatsu 
and the militarists into an indissoluble bloc committed to Japan's 
war of aggression. This did not completely eliminate differences 
either within the Daihatsu or between the Daihatsu and the army. 
But these differences became increasingly minor: tactical 
differences with regard to timing, direction and division of 
spoils, with general agreement on the main objective Japanese 
military domination of East Asia. It should be remembered that 
it was a civilian Cabinet, under Prince Konoye, that embarked 
on the decisive China Incident in July 1937, and that no signifi- 
cant section of the Daihatsu opposed it. 


The most extravagant hopes of the Zaibalsu were fulfilled in 
the early stages of the Pacific war. Not only were they able to 
wallow in the bonanza of war contracts and consolidate their 

hold on the pre-war sectors of the Japanese economy, but they 
also gained, tremendous additional strength by reaping the bulk 
of the profits from the rich territories conquered. 

The whole system of administration and economic exploitation 
in the conquered areas was built up on the basis of concessions 
parcelled out to various Japanese concerns. Mitsubishi was given 
jurisdiction over the Laokay phosphate deposits in Indo-China; 
in Singapore, trans-shipping is controlled, under genera! army 
supervision, by the Mitsubishi Warehouse Company, while the 
shipbuilding facilities are under the control of another branch 
of the Mitsubishi industrial octopus. Mitsui Mining received the 
Lepanto copper mines and other mineral resources in the 
Philippines; trie shipbuilding branch of the House of Mitsui took 
over the facilities at Hong Kong. And in addition to giving the 
Daihatsu the lion's share of the great resources captured in 1941- 
1942, Tojo also allowed Sumitomo, Mitsui and Mitsubishi to 
participate in the exploitation of Manchuria, from which the 
army had previously banned them. 

At the same time the Zjaibatsit won greatly increased power 
over the economy of Japan. The Tojo Government gave a 
tremendous impetus to the growth of monopolies, both by re- 
strictive measures against small business and by inducements to 
mergers. Small concerns were driven out of business by their 
inability to secure raw materials, credits and man-power in 
competition with the giant trusts. The Daihatsu bought up these 
bankrupt firms at rock-bottom prices. At the beginning of the 
war, the trusts paid for their purchases in cash, but the huge 
amounts changing hands soon began to threaten the country 
with inflation. It was then that the militarist-dominated Govern- 
ment made its greatest gift to the %aibatsu. Under the "Law 
Regulating the Application of Capital", passed by the Eighty- 
third Diet (October 1943), sellers of factories were compelled to 
accept payment not in money but in shares of the buyer concern. 
Furthermore, owners of inactive factories were compelled to sell 
whether they wished to or not. A second measure, "The Adjust- 
ment of Enterprises Law", gave the Government the ri^ht to take 
over all such factories and distribute their plants to war industries. 

One of the obvious results of such actions was a tremendous 
increase in the number of mergers. In 1940, 216 companies 
valued at ,650,000,000 yen merged or were reorganized. By 
4 943 the figure had doubled, with 570 companies, totalling 
7,500,000,000 yen, affected. Mitsubishi and other aviation com* 
panics engulfed dozens of textile companies, which were con- 
verted to the production of airplane parts. 

C (D.I.J.) 65 

One of the most significant developments in the direction of 
monopoly control of the economy was an extensive series of 
mergers involving the great banks. On April i, 1944, the 
Teikoku Bank was established as a result of the merger of the 
Mitsui Bank Ltd. and the Dai Ichi Bank. On April 13, 1944, 
the Finance Ministry approved the Teikoku Bank's absorption 
of the Jugo Bank (popularly known as the Peers' Bank because 
of its aristocratic clientele) . The total deposits of this new bank 
amounted to 6,400,000,000 yen, making it the largest in the 
Empire. A similar series of mergers was arranged for the Yasuda 
Bank, enabling it to absorb the Nippon Chuya Bank, the Showa 
and the Dai San Banks. After the completion of all arrange- 
ments for these commercial banks in August 1944, there re- 
mained only a few banks in the Commercial Banks Control 
Association: the Mitsui-controlled Teikoku; Mitsubishi; Sumi- 
tomo ; Yasuda ; Sanwa ; Nomura and Tokai. And in March 1945 
nine of the largest savings banks in Japan five in Tokyo, three 
in Osaka and one in Nagoya were merged into one central 
bank with total deposits of 8,500,000,000 yen. 

The swallowing up of small industries by the Daihatsu reached 
such a pass that on September 7, 1944, Viscount Masatoshi 
Okawacni, speaking in the extremely conservative House of 
Peers, pleaded with Premier Koiso to "maintain medium and 
small industries'*. Koiso replied that he would give this question 
"due consideration". 


As a result of its potent pre-war power and war-time ex- 
pansion, the Daihatsu was able not only to preserve but actually 
to strengthen its important place in ttis oligarchy ruling Japan. 

Contrary to the views of most Western commentators, Japan 
went to war under conditions highly favourable to Big Business. 
When Tojo assumed office on October 18, 194.1, preparatory to 
the attack on Pearl Harbour, he inherited, without protest, the 
much-propagandized "New Economic Structure" which had 
just been put into operation. This programme was devised 
primarily by Japan's dominant economic interests. It combined 
the main points of two alternative schemes submitted by the 
Japanese Economic Federation and the Japan Chamber of Com- 
merce and Industry, both Daihatsu organizations. It provided 
for the mobilization and control of war industries through a 
series of super-trusts or Control Associations. Theoretically, a 
Control Association was a public organ embracing an entire 
industry and responsible to the Ministry of Commerce and 

Industry. Actually it was made up of the leading firms, in its 
particular field and given tremendous power over the industry 
concerned. This power was vested in the president of each 
association, and in practice the president of the leading trust 
in each industry became the president of the corresponding 
Control Association. Thus the Iron and Steel Control Association 
was only a slightly altered version of the Iron and Steel Manu- 
facturers 1 Federation, with the same President, Hachisaburo 
Hirao, who was a Mitsubishi official. The Federation of Coal 
Mine Owners was transformed into the Coal Control Association 
under President Kcnjirp Matsumoto, a Mitsui Trust Company 
director. The p*eat majority of these Control Associations were 
established during the early months of the Tojo Cabinet. 

The ^aibatsu was able to preserve this privileged position 
virtually unimpaired despite tne deterioration of the Japanese 
military situation and the consequent increase in the demands 
of military production. While the Daihatsu enthusiastically sup- 
ported the war and all the rich conquests it involved, it was 
thoroughly unwilling to permit military "interference'* with the 
way it ran industry and made profits. 

By the fall of 1942, however, the Zaibatsu^s "profits as usual" 
policy came into conflict with the effective administration of a 
war-time economy. The Control Associations were still private 
organizations, over which the Cabinet could exert little direct 
control, and the large degree of autonomy which they retained, 
including power over the procurement of materials, funds and 
labour, prevented the enforcement of any general system of 
priorities. The inefficiency of this set-up did not become apparent 
during the first months of the war, because Japan's military and 
naval forces were operating largely on stocks of munitions and 
surplus shipping tonnage accumulated before the war, and were 
adding to their resources by their early victories. But these first 
bright prospects were somewhat dimmed by the autumn of 1 942 
as a consequence of Allied operations in the Solomons, the toll 
of merchant shipping taken by Allied submarines and the smash- 
ing defeat suffered by the Japanese at Midway. Clearly more 
ships, planes and munitions were needed, and during 1943 three 
different sessions of the Diet sought to deal with the problem of 
stimulating war production and bringing it under more effective 
Government control. 

The regular Diet session which convened late in January, 1943, 
set apart five industries (iron and steel, coal, light metals, shipping 
and aircraft) as essential to the prosecution of the war, and voted 
supreme powers for their administration in Premier Tojo. 


But though Tojo had evidently won bis main point, he was 
forced to accept an extraordinary compromise with the ^aibatsu 
by which seven leading industrial and financial magnates were 
attached to the Cabinet as an Advisers' Council. According to 
official regulations these men were to hold a rank equivalent to 
Ministers of State, and were empowered to "participate in the 
Premier's conduct of administrative affairs with regard to 
expansion of wartime production and execution of the war- 
time economy of the nation' '. 

Another, more drastic attack on the disunity that still character- 
ized Japan's system of war-time economic administration was 
made in the Special Diet Session at the end of October 1943. 
The main feature of the new administrative system this Diet 
set up was the centralization of industrial production in a 
Ministry of Munitions. Headed by Tojo himself, this Ministry 
became the chief organ of administration for the production of 
essential war materials. This appeared to be a victory of the 
military over the "profits as usual" Daihatsu. A closer examination 
reveals that this was far from the truth. 

Although Tojo was made Minister of Munitions, Shinsukc 
Kishi, who was made Vice-Minister of Munitions and actually 
handled the executive affairs of the Munitions Ministry, had 
consistently defended the Zaibatsu-dominated Control Associations 
at the Diet Session in October 1943. 

The Daihatsu won another victory in November 1943$ when 
a number of representatives of Big Business were brought into 
the Cabinet. The most important of these was Ginjiro Fujiwara, 
veteran industrialist closely associated with Mitsui, who was 
made Minister without Portfolio. A blast of Press and radio 
publicity on this appointment stressed the fact that Fujiwara's 
appointment meant a closer welding of militarist and financial 
circles. A Tomiuri editorial declared that while at the start the 
Tojo Government had been a "militarily bureaucratic Cabinet" 
it had gradually changed its character, but that until the appoint- 
ment of Fujiwara "there was no one in the Cabinet representing 
civilian industrial circles, and contact with financial circles was 
only through advisers". 

One of the most dramatic by-products of this Daihatsu en- 
croachment was a miniature revolt on the part of some of Tojo's 
"radical fascist" supporters and the suicide of the fanatical 
Seigo Nakano. Nakano was a firebrand ultra-nationalist of the 
most extreme type. He had been the head of the extremist 
organization Tohokai, a centre of political terrorism. He com- 
bined this ultra-nationalism with opposition to the ^cdbatsu and 

urged the nationalization of all industry, much like the "left 
Nazis' 1 of the Roehm type purged by Hitler in 1934. The radical 
fascism of Nakano and his associates had been very alarming to 
the Zaibatsu> and they had made every attempt to keep him out 
of any place of authority. In the Diet elections of April 1942 
they were able to prevent him from receiving the support of 
the Imperial Rule Assistance Political Society when he ran for 
the Diet. Nevertheless Nakano was elected by a large majority. 
He apparently continued to fight inside the Diet, oecausc, on 
June 21, 1043, a I^omei dispatch to Asia reported that many 
members of the I.R.AJP.S. had demanded his expulsion as a 
result of a speech in the Diet during the emergency session of 
June 1943. When Nakano committed suicide on October 26, 

1943, it was generally interpreted as a protest against the %aibatsu > & 
increasing strength in the Tojo Government. 


In the light of the increasing success of the Zaibatsu** bid for 
supreme power, the replacement of General Tojo by Premier 
Koiso in July 1944 assumes a greater significance than is usually 
attributed to it. There can be little doubt that the fall of Saipan 
and the first significant B~29 blows on the home soil were the 
immediate causes of Tojo's fall, but he could probably have sur- 
vived had his political foundation been broader. 

The Cabinet headed by General Kuniaki Koiso crystallized 
the political shift of power that had been going on during the 
previous year. The new Premier was an early army "radical*' 
who had made his peace with the business interests. Admiral 
Mitsumasa Yonai, the Navy Minister, who was ranked as 
Deputy Prime Minister, had never been an enemy of the aibatsu, 
Perhaps the most important appointment in the Cabinet was 
that of the Mitsui industrialist Ginjiro Fuiiwara to the portfolio 
of Munitions Minister a position tnat had been created by Tojo 
for himself, as a means of obtaining supreme control over the 
Japanese economy. 

Fujiwara gave evidence of the increased confidence of the 
Daihatsu by immediately moving to take production control out 
of the hands of the army and navy and to unify it completely 
in his own hands. In his first Press conference, held on July 29, 

1944, he pointed out that he could not unify the war economy 
because tne Army Ordnance Headquarters controlled the pro- 
duction of land weapons and the production of ships was under 
the jurisdiction of the Naval Construction Headquarters, He 
advocated the combining of these two bodies tinder the Munitions 


Ministry. Fujiwara's determined attempts to secure full control 
of the Japanese economy aroused violent opposition in the army 
-_,, TT.I___, ., 'ycd his hand; on December 

i resignation because of "ill 
not keep him down long. 
On February 15, 1945, he was appointed a Cabinet Adviser and 
assigned the important job of breaking the bottlenecks in the 
production of iron and steel. 

Fujiwara's temporary setback did not in any sense indicate a 
weakening ofgaibatsu influence in the reeling Koiso Government. 
On the contrary, subsequent policies and appointments attested 
to their entrenched position. One of the important Koiso 
appointments in February was that of Juichi Tsushima to the 
post of Finance Minister. Mr. Tsushima had close connections 
with Seihin Iked a, former head of Mitsui, and extensive con- 
nections in financial circles abroad ; one of the main points he 
stressed in his maiden speech on February 21 was the necessity 
for the firm maintenance of economic "order and stability". 
In March 1945 the Daihatsu persuaded the Cabinet to "nationa- 
lize" important industries in order to have the nation bear the 
cost of repairs to bomb-shattered plants and lay the basis for a 
claim against the Government in the event that the plants were 
completely destroyed. 

By this point the Zjaibatsu could see the handwriting on the wall 
and was seeking a method of getting out from under. 


When the American invasion of Okinawa precipitated the 
resignation of Premier Koiso in April 1945, his successor, 
Admiral Baron Kantaro Suzuki, organized a Cabinet which 
represented a further and greater step towards the solid, "re- 
spectable" and "moderate" circles of Japan's ruling group. 

The appointments to the Suzuki Cabinet represented a skilful 
interweaving of the political forces in the ruling oligarchy, but 
its main strain was that of the Daihatsu and the throne. It is 
noteworthy that Admiral Suzuki himself had been so closely 
aligned with "moderate" inner Court circles that during the 
military uprising of February 1936 he was attacked and wounded 
by the extremist assassins. Other appointments among high* 
ranking military and naval officers indicated the same traditiona- 
list, conservative bent. The Minister of War, General Anami, 
had held the trusted post of Military Aide-de-Camp to the 
Emperor. The Minister of State, Lieutenant-General Toji 
Yasui, was Chief of Staff during the military revolt of February 

1936. The Munitions Minister, Admiral Tcijiro Toyoda, had 
married into the Mitsui family and became president of the 
Nippon Seitetsu, Japan's mammoth semi-official iron and steel 
trust, and also of the Iron and Steel Control Association. 

Civilian appointments to the Cabinet also indicated the 
growing influence 'of the conservatives. The Minister of Finance, 
Toyosaku Hirosc, had been chairman of the Central Association 
of Life Insurance Companies and of the Life Insurance Control 
Association. The Minister of Agriculture and Commerce, 
Tadaatsu Ishiguro, had been associated with the Central Bank 
of the Co-operative Societies. 

The further shift towards the less adventurist section of Japan's 
ruling oligarchy made possible a dual strategy. It became possible 
to make effective and extensive efforts to rally Japan for an all- 
out defence of the homeland, but at the same time the door was 
left open for surrender when Japan's conservatives decided that 
the time was ripe. In short, the Daihatsu had carried through a 
further step towards protecting its position during the last stages 
of defeat and towards maintaining its important position in 
post-war Japan. 


Thus, in view of the history, motivations and structure of the 
Daihatsu in Japan, the answer to the Question **Can We Trust a 
Big Business Japan?" must be an emphatic no. Even at best, the 
more liberal section of the aibatsu did not disagree with the 
ultimate aims of the most aggressive elements in Japanese life. 
During most of the modern period, Japan's giant trusts have 
been important and willing partners of the militarists in the 
acquisition of new territories for exploitation, with quarrels 
restricted to the question of methods, division of spoils, and 
supreme power over the domestic economy. 

The men who control Japan's great financial and industrial 
monopolies cannot lead Japan along the road to democracy and 
peace for two reasons. They have shown clearly that they are 
opposed to democratic processes of government and have 
exerted every effort to suppress popular discontent. Con- 
sequently, continuation of their influence upon the post-war 
Japanese Government will inhibit the growth and influence of 
democratic elements in Japan. 

Even more important, these men would unquestionably be 
determined and powerful opponents of the measures of social 
and economic reform required to give Japan a stable and ex- 
panding internal market and to absorb venture capital in peace* 


fill pursuits. Their power derives from an economic system that 
keeps the great majority of the Japanese people impoverished, 
ana therefore unable to provide an adequate market for the 
products of modern, large-scale industries. Daihatsu domination 
makes the emergence of an 'independent class of small capitalists 
virtually impossible. It is inconceivable that the %aibatsu would 
voluntarily destroy the conditions that make possible this mono- 
poly of power. Thus, a ,a#0$u-controlled Japan would maintain, 
unchanged, the internal conditions that were basically responsible 
for launching Japan on her campaign of conquest. 

If Japan remains an autocratic State, ruled by the Daihatsu 
and retaining an economic structure based on cheap peasant 
and factory labour, we may expect from her the same type of 
trade competition as before the war. The continued existence 
of such a Japan would make it extremely difficult, if not im- 
possible, for the other countries of Eastern Asia to establish 
prosperous expanding economies. If, for example, Japan con- 
tinues to utilize excessively cheap labour to manufacture cotton 
textiles, China would be able to develop her own textile industry 
only by competing in the matter of low living standards for her 
people. The same holds true for the industrial development of 
India, the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, and other Asiatic 
countries. They could protect themselves from the Japanese 
challenge only be creating high tariff walls and imposing other 
forms of trade restrictions for the protection of their domestic 
industries. In this way the old cycle of commercial rivalry in a 
restricted market would begin once more, dooming to dis- 
appointment the hope for an expanding market in Eastern Asia 
and rising living standards for the Asiatic peoples. 


Is THE Emperor of Japan an oriental Charlie McCarthy, a past 
puppet of tne militarists, who can be safely transferred to the 
knees of the United Nations? 

Or is the throne an integral part of the scourge of Japanese 
aggression? If so, should the Emperor be treated as a war 
criminal, to be tried and liquidated with Tojo and his ilk? 

Would it be better to put the throne "on ice" for a while until 
Japanese ardour for it has died down? 

The problem of the future of the Japanese Emperor and the 
throne, as an institution, has certainly generated more heat than 
any other subject relating to Japan. In the United States we have 
seen how widespread criticism of Joseph Clark Crew's Chicago 
speech, which was widely interpreted as supporting the retention 
of the Emperor system, compelled him to back water and to 
insist that he had never declared in favour of or against the re- 
tention of the throne. In England, H. Vere Redman, chief of the 
Far Eastern Division of the British Ministry of Information, has 
frankly declared : ". . . wild horses will not drag from me whether 
I personally am an Emperor-deb unker or not . 


Most of those who support the retention and utilization of the 
Emperor system in post-war Japan do so for one or more of the 
following three reasons : 

One : The Japanese believe in him in a deeply religio-national- 
istic way, and therefore any attempt on our part to depose or 
weaken him would make us hated and give the defeated militarists 
the best rallying cry they could desire for a comeback : "Restore 
the Emperor!" 

Two: The Emperor set-up will prove an extremely useful^ 
device for governing during the period of military occupation of ' 
Japan. Since the Emperor has generally been an instrument for 
other groups to manipulate, it is proposed that we use him for our 
own ends by having him issue our regulations as imperial edicts, 
in order to make the period of occupation easier. The people 
will accept anything their Emperor says ; and the militarists will 
be unable to resist any document issued by His Imperial Majesty. 

Three: It may be possible to make a safe, easy transition to 
parliamentary government by installing liberals in the Court 
circles and changing the role of the Emperor to that of a con- 
stitutional monarch thereby liberalizing Japan while preventing 
an extreme revolutionary reaction on the part of the masses. 

Such pro-Emperor reasoning is widely held in the American 
State Department and in the British Foreign Office. Many 
officials are fearful of the problem of occupation if the occupying 
authorities do not have the endorsement of the Emperor. Tnere 
is talk among many of ordering bullet-proof vests because they 
fear for their lives in a hostile Japan witn a heritage of assassina- 
tion. Others are afraid that without the co-operation of the 
Emperor the bureaucracy might refuse to work for the occupation 
authorities, and that the latter would then be faced with the 
responsibility of governing 70,000,000 persons through only a 
02 * 73 

handful of officials with a knowledge of Japan and the Japanese 

This idea of "government through Emperor manipulation" 
is particularly favoured by British Japan experts". As late as 
the beginning of 1945 there was still no British training pro- 
gramme for "Civil Affairs" officers, and important British officials 
were suggesting that the disadvantages of occupation might ex- 
ceed the advantages. They felt that a small Allied Control 
Commission, working through the Emperor, could achieve 
Allied objectives in Japan without an elaborate military govern- 
ment apparatus. 

While the American Government has indicated that it plans 
to land, occupy and if necessary administer Japan, there has 
been a strong sympathy for the "manipulate the Emperor" school 
in high places. In his testimony before the Senate Foreign 
Relations Committee in December 1 944, Mr. Joseph Clark Grew 
suggested that if the Emperor should prove to be the only element 
of stability in post-war Japan, we might be required to utilize 
him to prevent anarchy and chaos. 

The appeal of this pro-Emperor attitude for highly placed 
officials laced with the difficult problem of occupation is obvious. 
This viewpoint errs, however, in one very important regard. It 
concentrates on only one portion of the Emperor question and 
consequently is a serious distortion of the problem as a whole. 

The problem of the continuation of the Japanese institution of 
Emperor-worship cannot be judged narrowly in terms of the 
present transitory state of Japanese opinion on the subject, 
desire for a brief occupation, or prejudice against social changes 
in Japan on the part of the Allies. It must be judged in consonance 
with the main objective: the maintenance of Pacific security. 
Without this perspective we may achieve a short and peaceful 
military occupation, but end up twenty years hence with another 
long and bloody conflict. 

The Japanese Emperor institution is the most powerful political 
instrument of internal repression and external aggression de- 
veloped in modern times. It is an instrument developed con- 
sciously and deliberately by Japan's ruling oligarchy during the 
last century, as a means of suppressing the movement for dem- 
ocracy ana social reform at home and channelling all of Japan's 
energies into the support of aggression abroad. 

When Commodore Perry reached Japan in 1853, the Emperor 
was in almost complete obscurity; his people gave him little or 
no thought. He was a virtual prisoner in the imperial palace at 
Kyoto, with his activities and ceremonies rigorously circum- 

scribed by the shogun, or feudal military dictator. The imperial 
throne had suffered an almost unbroken record of misfortune for 
more than 650 years. Without any military resources of its own 
in a feudal society based on military power, it had been at the 
mercy of the ruling military dictator. Individual Emperors had 
been assassinated, deposed or retired at the whim of the ruling 
shpguns. Emperors had been exiled ; some had been murdered in 
exile. From the remote island to which he had been relegated, 
one managed to escape hidden under a load of fish. Others had 
to sell autographs for a livelihood. The Emperor Tsuchi II lay 
unburied for six weeks until his son borrowed money from 
Buddhist priests to pay the funeral expenses. 

In the fourteenth century things came to such a pass that two 
rival imperial lines defied each other for a space of fifty-seven 
years. These were the so-called Northern and Southern Courts, 
and it was the Northern Court branded by later historians as 
usurping and illegitimate that ultimately won the day. 

During all this time, actual ruling power was in the hands of 
the shoguns. There were two reasons why the shoguns did not 
take the seemingly simple step of usurping the royal title as well 
as the royal power. Theoretically the shogun's power had been 
delegated to him by the Emperor. Therefore, the shogun held 
onto the Emperor as the symbol of his authority. In addition, 
there was the sentimental tradition perpetuated by a handful of 
historians and priests that Japan's reigning house dated back to 
the "Era of the Gods" in "a line unbroken for ages eternal". 
Despite shogun opposition, these people had kept this tradition 
alive by secretly circulating mytho-histories like the Dai Nikon 
Shi (History of Greater Japan), which exalted the throne by 
tracing it back to the Emperor Jimmu, mythical founder of Japan 
and alleged descendant of the Sun Goddess. 

The throne was ultimately rescued from its obscurity by a 
deep crisis which was alreaay brewing when Perry sailed into 
Tokyo Bay, a crisis which Perry and die other Westerners who 
followed mm helped to deepen. 

During the previous two decades, Japan had been shaken by 
peasant revolts and rice riots, bred of acute agrarian distress. The 
great merchant princes of Osaka and Kyoto, hampered by feudal 
restrictions on foreign trade and bedevilled by the bankrupt 
shogun's resort to forced loans, were growing increasingly restive. 
Simultaneously, the only partially subdued great Western clans 
of Satsuma, Choshu, Tosa and Hizen were cautiously drawing 
together for a concerted attack on the shogun. 

The pressure of the foreign Powers, which attempted to force 


the shogun to open Japan to trade, provided these anti-shogun 
forces with their opportunity. They raised the slogan of "Revere 
the Emperor; expel the barbarians!" and told the people that 
unless the Shogunate were overthrown and the Emperor restored 
as ruler of Japan, the country would be overrun by foreign bar- 
barians. The slogan of "Revere the Emperor" was both legiti- 
mate and effective as an anti-shogun device, because the shoguns 
had originally usurped power from the Emperor. Moreover, the 
diverse anti-shogun forces felt safe in supporting the throne, 
because they knew it was a symbol with only the power of a 
sentimental tradition, and therefore felt that they could keep it 
under control. 

Eventually a shogun was unable to cope with the internal crisis 
and foreign pressure, and in 1868 he resigned and "restored" 
ruling power to the young Emperor, Meiji. It is typical of the 
Emperor's greatly exalted place in modern Japanese nistory that 
the name attached to this "Revolution of 1868" is the <( Meiji 
Restoration" after the then seventeen-year-old Emperor and not 
after the real artisans of the transition, the oligarchy of Western 
clan leaders and merchant princes. 


The Emperor institution acquired a new function in the 
'eighties, when it became the mam weapon against democracy in 
the arsenal of the Japanese autocrats. After 1875 a movement 
developed known as the "People's Rights Movement " (Minken 
Undo). Broadly speaking this represented an attempt to win for 
Japan not only a centralized state and modern industry, but also 
the benefits of political and economic democracy. 

In 1 88 1 the Liberal Party (Jiyuto) was established as a national 
organization. Despite the vagueness of its programme and the 
opportunism of its leadership, it received enthusiastic backing 
from city artisans and the land-hungry and debt-burdened 
peasants, and the movement developed a militancy which 
threatened to force democracy upon the Meiji Government. 

But the oligarchy was able to use the throne as an instrument 
to beat back this democratic movement of the 'eighties. 

One of the centres of the movement was Tokyo, where demo- 
cratic aspirations found voice in liberal newspapers. In December 
1887 a "Peace Preservation Law" was passed, one section of 
which was designed to rid Tokyo of liberal leaders. Note how 
this was accomplished through the utilization of the throne, and 
also how * 'dangerous thoughts" were made criminal: 

Any person residing or sojourning within a distance of three 
ri (7^ miles) radius around the imperial palace y or around the 
imperial place of resort, who plots or incite&^gffiTjalaa^pr who 
is judged to be scheming something det A ^ '^^ 

quility, may be ordered by the police ' 
tne sanction of the Minister of 
said district within a fixed numt 

As a result of the application of tl 
including the editors of the pro-de 
and Koron Shimpo t were driven out 

This policy of shrouding the ugly 
under the ermine robes of a "heav 
crystallized in the constitution of 18 ^ 
Liberal Party and other opponents of the rulingoTl^ 
so powerful that, in 1881, the Meiji Governmenrwas forced to 
issue an imperial rescript promising a constitution and a Diet, but 
the rescript set the time for 1889 tnus giving the oligarchy eight 
years to devise a political instrument which would nominally 
include the national assembly demanded by the democrats, 
while leaving the powers of the ruling clique unimpaired. 

This carefully devised document was primarily the work of 
Prince Ito, who selected the Prussian constitution to emulate 
after he had been sent to Europe as the head of a Japanese mission 
to study foreign constitutions. He met Bismarck, and decided that 
the constitution of Prussia the most autocratic of the twenty- 
six federal states of Germany was the most suitable for adapta- 
tion to Japan's absolutist needs. 

Prince Ito worked for years in the sacrosanct environs of the 
Imperial Household. The locale of his labours was very carefully 
selected. The democrats of Japan maintained that sovereignty 
lay with the people, and that consequently the constitution should 
be drawn up by an elected people's assembly. On the other hand, 
Prince Ito and other defenders of the autocracy insisted that 
sovereignty was inalienably attached to the Emperor's person, 
and that accordingly he alone could grant a constitution to the 
people, as a gift. 

The Japanese constitution was finally promulgated on February 
1 1, 1889. Ail opposition newspapers by now had been suppressed, 
and others were forbidden to comment on the document. Not 
only had the constitution been drawn up in secret, but it was read 
to an audience of select officials from which the general public 
was excluded. 


The product of Ito's labours was a political strait jacket which 
throttled the democratic movement ot that period and has bound 
Japan to this day. The constitution enshrined the theory that 
all the sovereign powers of the State are united in the Emperor. 
Under the supreme direction of the Emperor, the administration 
of the Government is carried out by the Cabinet, in collaboration 
with the Privy Council and with the consent of the Diet. The 
Cabinet is responsible primarily to the Emperor. The army and 
navy, as in the Prussian constitution, are not controlled by the 
Diet, but are subject directly to the Emperor. The Diet is given 
no independent power of legislation or amendment, and is 
deprivea of the power to use the withholding of money as a 
political weapon by the provision that in the event a proposed 
* budget is not passed, the budget of the previous year goes into 
effect. Even the Diet's consent is not required for all measures, 
because in time of "emergency" when the Diet is not in session, 
imperial ordinances have the force of law. 

Thus it was that the throne was developed still further as a 
means of blocking the development of democratic forces and 
institutions in Japan. 


The Meiji oligarchy developed still another use for the throne 
in the 1890*5, when Japan made its debut as an imperialist Power 
by joining in the mad scramble for loot in China. 

Until the 1890*5 the throne had not developed a strong hold 
upon the people. It was still simply the centre of a sentimental 
tradition, and though it had been used as a political device by the 
oligarchy, it did not as yet touch the lives of the people. This is 
clearly demonstrated by the diary of Dr. Erwin Baelz, a German 
doctor who was personal physician to Emperor Meiji and the 
imperial family for many years. In Dr. Back's diary, which was 
recently published under the tide of Awakening Japan, he has the 
following illuminating entry, which shows what shallow roots the 
Emperor cult has in Japanese history : 

Tokyo. November 3, 1880. The Emperor's birthday. It dis- 
tresses me to see how litde interest the populace takes in their 
rulers. Only when the police insist on it are the houses decorated 
with flags. 

The canny and ruthless leaders of Meiji Japan soon realized 
that modern weapons were not enough to create an effective 
aggressive army. Simple patriotism would be sufficient for the 
morale of an army designed for defence. But for an army capable 

of subjugating other peoples, patriotism alone did not suffice. 
A form of jingoism, a belief that Japan was superior to other 
nations, and consequently was called upon by divine right to 
rule them, was required. Therefore they developed the cult of 
Emperor-worship as an instrument for channelling religious 
impulse into the service of an aggressive state. 

Shinto provided the ideal raw material for the establishment of 
this cult. The word Shinto means "The Way of the Gods". In its 
original form this religion was a primitive form of nature- worship, 
paying homage to the sun, rain, moon and other natural phen- 
omena. When Buddhism was introduced from China in the sixth 
century A.D., carrying with it the superior culture, the more 
profound philosophy and the higher ethical code of China, it drove 
Shinto into obscurity for thirteen centuries. 

In the nineteenth century a modified Shinto was revived by 
nationalist scholars. They helped develop a spirit of devotion to 
the imperial family by publicizing the legend that the throne 
dated back to Emperor Jimmu, mythical founder of the Japanese 
Empire, and descendant of the Sun Goddess. This theory pro- 
vided ammunition for the forces which succeeded in overthrowing 
the shogun and establishing the Meiji Restoration. 

Having had so much success in utilizing Shinto as a political 
device, the Meiji leaders next desired to develop it still further as 
a means of establishing a national morale capable of waging 
aggressive wars. They would have liked to accomplish this simply 
by converting Shinto into the State religion and abolishing all 
other religions, but were unable to do so because this would nave 
brought them into a head-on collision with all the missionary- 
exporting Western Powers. Japan could not yet afford to offend 
those powers, particularly simultaneously. 

The Meiji leaders solved their problem in a characteristically 
shrewd and opportunistic manner. Out of the heterogeneous 
background of legend and nature- worship, they developed two 
separate strains of Shinto which are legally and theoretically 
entirely distinct. One was "Sect Shinto", which is considered a 
religion of personal choice, equal before the law with Buddhism 
and Christianity. The other was "State Shinto", comprising the 
special beliefs and practices associated with nationalism, the 
Emperor and his "divine ancestors". All Japanese are com- 
pulsorily devotees of State Shinto, regardless of whether their 
Personal religion is Christianity, Buddhism or Sect Shinto. Thus, 
all Christians in Japan must worship also at State Shinto shrines. 

The next stage was to build up a popular reverence for the 
Emperor! One means was to insist on that special type of 


''honorific'* language which translates so peculiarly into English, 
being replete with words like "august", ^divine", "trepidation" 
and the like. 

The term "Son of Heaven" was apparently first used in 1889. 
Bowing towards the Ejnperor's portrait was begun in the eighteen- 
nineties. Simultaneously there began a "Shintofication" of 
Japanese history, designed to "prove" that since 660 B.C. Japan 
had been "reigned over and governed by a line of Emperors un- 
broken for ages eternal**. 

Unfortunately, the authentic history of Japan proved no such 
thing. Most Japanese scholars in the 'twenties placed the founding 
of Japan at 40 B.C. Actually there was no authentic Japanese 
history before about the fifth century A.D., and most of the nistory 
after this time showed that the imperial line had been anything 
but unbroken. These "anti-national" facts were corrected, how- 
ever, by recalling any history text-books which treated the throne 
with such irreverent candour, and replacing them by "purified" 
mytho-histories. Some of these are really impressive examples of 
"creative" history writing. In order to stretch the imperial line 
back to 660 B.C., it was necessary to give certain Emperors reigns 
of over a hundred years ! 

Every effort was made to relate Japan's successes in the Sino- 
Japanese War of 1894-1895 and the Russo-Japanese War a 
decade later to the newly-exalted Emperor. The somewhat un- 
expected victories of aggressive, highly organized Japan over the 
lumbering colossi of China and Russia were ascribed to the 
miraculous influence of the Emperor's virtue and to the virtues 
of his imperial and divine ancestors. After each great victory, 
imperial envoys were sent to carry the good tidings to the Sun 
Goddess at her great shrine at Ise. Cannon captured from the 
Chinese, and later from the Russians, were officially installed at 
Ise, at Yasukuni and at the other principal Shinto shrines 
throughout the land thus identifying aggression, State Shinto and 
national glory as a single concept in the popular mind. 

The shrines played an increasingly important role in develop- 
ing the cult of Emperor- worship. State Shinto is sometimes called 
"Shrine Shinto" because it is based upon a nation-wide network 
of State shrines. Above the simple village shrine level there are 
some 5000 State Shinto shrines all with standard ceremonies to 
be used during national festivals and other State occasions* This 
hierarchy of shrines culminates in the two most important ones 
in Japan: Yasukuni and Ise. 

The shrine at Ise honours the Sun Goddess, who is officially 
defined as the ancestress of the royal line. It is largely by means of 

the governmentally supervised worship of the Sun Goddess that 
the virtue of devotion to the state is infused with the sentiment of 
religious faith. 

The Yasukuni shrine, second in importance, is the most direct 
link between State Shinto and military aggression. The word 
Yasukuni means "Nation-Protecting", and the shrine is dedicated 
to the spirits of those who have died in the defence of the Empire. 
Those who have died in battle "for the Emperor" are deified there, 
amid impressive ceremonies. 

^These shrines are perfect complements to each other. The Ise 
shrine establishes the divinity of the imperial family through its 
ancestress the Sun Goddess. All the wars of Japan, therefore, are 
holy wars, since they are under the supreme command of a divine 
Emperor who can do no wrong. Thus those who die fighting such 
a war have died for a holy cause and the ceremony at YastJkuni 
raises them to the rank of demigods, and makes them living 
denizens of the spirit world. 

The experience of this latest war has demonstrated without 
peradventure of doubt the effectiveness of Emperor-worship as 
the politico-religious backbone of Japanese aggression. As an 
inspiration to battle it has far surpassed the Nazi dogma of Aryan 
supremacy, more nearly approaching the religious fervour of 
militant Mohammedanism, the fervour which in the seventh and 
eighth centuries made the Moors rulers of a realm more extensive 
than that of Rome at its height. The fanaticism of a heavily 
indoctrinated Japanese, believing himself a descendant of the 
Sun Goddess, is directly comparable to the fiery enthusiasm of the 
"true believers" of Islam. The war aims of the Japanese, who 
seek only to spread the "august virtues" of the Emperor to the 
"eight corners" of the world, arc as crusadingly religious as was 
the Mohammedan attempt to force the world into the Islamic 
fold. Like the Mohammedan warrior, for whom death in battle 
was the surest admission to Paradise, the Japanese soldier feels 
assured of deification at the shrine of Yasukuni. 

In short, the Japanese cult of Emperor-worship is the ideal 
auxiliary to aggression, because it combines an evangelical belief 
in the cause for which the soldier is fighting plus a special induce- 
ment for death in battle. The Emperor cult is the religion of a 
ruthless militarism. 

Japar& war-time Government officials have demonstrated the 
importance of this institution by the extent to which they have 
utilized it during this war. In the past it always has been the 
rule to use the name of the Emperor sparingly and with great 
restraint. This custom has been based on the unstated but 


practical theory that too much use of the revered symbol would 
cheapen it. But as the war has developed from Japanese victories 
to Japanese reverses, and then to crushing defeats, the Emperor 
has lost more and more of his imperial privacy. On increasingly 
frequent occasions, harsh acts of the Government and blunders of 
the military in the field have been smoothed over by artful 
identification of these otherwise depressing events with the 
person and desires of the Emperor. When reinforcements and 
supplies could not be sent to an isolated garrison, the military 
would send a proclamation signed by the Emperor telling them 
to die to the last man in order to put his mind at ease. With 
increasing frequency, Tokyo propagandists used a congratulatory 
message from the Emperor to bolster fantastic claims of Japanese 
successes against the United States Pacific Fleet. On the eighth 
of e\?ery month all newspapers had to publish the declaration of 
war against the United States and Britain, promulgated over the 
Emperor's signature. 

There can be no doubt that the potency of the Emperor cult 
has had the result of prolonging the war by putting the stamp of 
divinity upon the suicidal, last-ditch fight of many Japanese 
garrisons. "Even though the war situation develops unfavour- 
ably," declared an article in the magazine Fuji in June 1943, "we 
must continue to fight without food and ammunition. If there 
are no bullets, offer our bodies. If our bodies are broken, our 
spirits will fight on until the Emperor commands 'cease'. It is 
Japan's purpose to offer everything to shield the Emperor." 

The Emperor cult has been one of the main causes for the 
bestial atrocities of the Pacific war. To the indoctrinated Japanese 
soldier all military duties are performed on behalf of the Emperor. 
Consequently the atrocity-committing soldier feels he has no 
personal responsibility and the most despicable act is ennobled 
because it is performed on behalf of the god-Emperor. 


In view of these facts it must be stated flatly that we cannot do 
business with Emperor Hirohito or his successor for any purpose 
except to have him accept unconditional surrender and order his 
forces to surrender. Any further utilization on our part will only 
be considered by the Japanese as our recognition of the supremacy 
of the Emperor, thus strengthening the institution. 

We need have little fear that it will be impossibly difficult to 
administer Japan without manipulating the Emperor. Most 
groups in Japan will be anxious to please. The upper classes will 
probably be over-anxious, hoping to maintain their relative 

position in society by ingratiating themselves with the victors. 
Other classes will realize that we have in our hands the food and 
raw material imports, and that life is likely to go on pretty much 
automatically if they co-operate. Those who have dealt with 
Japanese prisoners of war generally agree that, with the excep- 
tion of a minority of incorrigible military fascists, most of the 
prisoners have been submissive and co-operative. 

There is little reason for the fear which seems to haunt the State 
Department and the Foreign Office that the Japanese bureau- 
cracy will not work for us unless the Emperor orders them to. 
Bureaucracies the world over will work for whosoever pays their 
salaries; and Japanese civil servants, if anything, are more 
dependent on their salaries than most. Any sabotage of military 
government will not come from our not having the imperial 
rubber stamp, but from the presence in the bureaucracy of 
military fascists, who must therefore be rooted out and destroyed. 
If such a clean-out is made in the top policy-making strata of the 
bureaucracy, there should be little difficulty in getting the lower 
ranks of the Japanese civil service to fall into line. 

The exponents of the Charlie McCarthy school also suggest 
that it is possible to make a "painless" transition to parliamentary 
government in Japan, by installing "liberal" or "moderate 
advisers behind the throne. This is both dangerous and im- 
practical. Such a government might have a parliamentary 
facade, but it would remain an oligarchy even though the 
dominant members of the oligarchy were industrialists and 
polished aristocrats rather than arrogant militarists. In such a 
case, all that the military fascists would have to do would be to 
replace these "liberals" as the powers behind the throne and 
they would once more be in command of the world's most perfect 
instrument for internal repression and external aggression. 

No, there is no short cut to reforming Japan. The history of the 
modern world has demonstrated that those people who have had 
a voice in their own affairs have been the most reluctant to go to 
war. Consequently, it is in the interest of the United Nations to 
encourage the emergence of a Japan controlled by its people, 
rather than by an oligarchy operating under the protection of 
imperial sovereignty. 


All the dangers in Allied policy towards the Emperor are not 
restricted to the possibility that we will be too soft, or attempt to 
convert him into an Allied tool. Dangers also lurk in the policy 
of a premature, frontal attack on the throne* The danger onset not 


from the objective, but from the incorrect strategy for achieving the correct 
objective. Many liberals in this country believe that the immediate 
elimination of the Emperor cult is essential. This argument is 
based on the undeniable fact that Emperor-worship constitutes 
the most important weapon in the arsenal of Japan's autocrats 
and military fascists. 

Despite this, it is equally true that those who demand an im- 
mediate, direct and levelling attack on the Emperor, the imperial 
house and the whole religio-political system are indulging in a 
dangerous form of political irresponsibility. The demand is un- 
derstandable and undoubtedly soul-satisfying to those who make 
it, but it may play into the hands of the militarists. 

The mistake is based on an under-estimation of the powerful 
hold which the Emperor cult now has upon the Japanese people, 
a hold which, although of comparatively recent vintage, is so 
strong that not one Japanese in fifty has even a critical attitude 
towards the throne. There is little evidence that even a disastrous 
defeat will seriously undermine the belief of the majority of the 
Japanese in their Emperor, at least at first. The evidence available, 
however, indicates that there will be widespread resentment 
against the militarists, who, in Japanese political theory, are 
responsible for advising the Emperor incorrectly. While the hold 
of the Emperor cult is likely to be shaken somewhat in certain 
narrow sections of the population, others are likely to cling ever 
more tightly to their faith in the throne during the confusion of 
the initial stages of political readjustment. 

If the victorious Allies make the mistake of openly and pre- 
maturely throwing their influence against the throne and the 
imperial house, they will present the Japanese militarists and 
chauvinists with the best political opportunity they could desire 
the opportunity of deflecting popular sentiment against them 
into a holy crusade in defence of the Emperor. 

It is important to note that all those anti-fascists who have 
actually worked at converting Japanese prisoners of war from 
their military fascist ideology agree that it is impossible to solve 
the problem of the Emperor with a frontal attack. Mr. Wataru 
Kaji, the well-known Japanese revolutionary writer who has been 
working with the Chungking Government since 1938 as a "psycho- 
logical adviser" directing propaganda among Japanese soldiers 
and civilians, has repeatedly warned against the danger of starting 
a "holy crusade" in Japan by a direct attack on the Emperor. 

Susumu Okano, experienced leader of the Japanese People's 
Emancipation League founded in Ycnan, has also warned 
against a direct or premature attack on the throne. This is 

particularly significant because this organization has done the 
most extensive work among Japanese prisoners, having converted 
some 500 of them by the end of 1944. Furthermore, Okano is the 
leading Japanese Communist, and came to this conclusion after 
years of advocating the Emperor's overthrow, and then only 
after consultation with a delegate of the Communists working 
underground within Japan. 


The reluctance of these anti-fascists to raise the cry of "Down 
with the Emperor" as an immediate political slogan, despite the 
fact that they are personally and doctrinally very strongly op- 
posed to the retention of the Emperor cult, is purely a question 
of political strategy. In politics, as in war, when a frontal attack 
is too costly, it is frequently advisable, and no less effective, to 
utilize a flank attack. This is undoubtedly the strategy which 
should be followed in this case, for it is possible to cut the institu- 
tion off from its base, isolate it and finally destroy it by attrition 
without ever incurring the risk of strengthening the militarists by 
a premature direct assault. 

Our attack should consist of three complementary thrusts. 
One should have the objective of weakening the sources of the 
throne's strength. The second should attempt to discredit the 
institution itself. And the third should support the democratic 
forces in Japan, which will of themselves work to counter the 
influences or the throne. 

The throne has derived its greatest strength from those forces 
which have used it to shield their nefarious activities. This 
includes first and foremost the military' fascists, the jingoists, the 
extreme nationalists. Without exception, the most arrant mill* 
tarists, like Generals Araki and Tojo, have always been the most 
ardent exponents of the Emperor cult. Many of these can be 
"liquidated" as war criminals ; others imprisoned as a threat to 
the security of our occupation forces ; others sent to hard labour 
on vigilance bases in the Pacific and the remainder denied access 
to the press and radio. 

The great financial interests have also been strong supporters 
of the Emperor institution. Several of the Emperor's closest 
advisers have been related to the Mitsubishi and the Sumitomo 
families. A weakening of the stranglehold of these great financial 
combines on the Japanese economy will simultaneously weaken 
one of the main pillars of the throne. Other elements of the old 
ruling class, such as the landlords, aristocrats and Prussian-style 
bureaucrats, have also supported the throne. The fewer of these 


elements allowed to pollute the political atmosphere, the greater 
the opportunity for the development among the Japanese people 
of a more critical and rational attitude on this subject. 

At the same time, every attempt should be made to chip away 
at the institution itself. The rate of chipping and the weight of the 
blows should be keyed to the rate at which the Japanese people 
develop a critical attitude. 

It is both possible and advisable to secure the abdication of 
the present Emperor after he has accepted our surrender demands 
and ordered his forces to give up. Under Japanese law only the 
Emperor can declare and end wars, and he is the commander in 
chief of the armed forces. Hirohito cannot escape some personal 
responsibility for the war because, first of all, he made no overt 
move to prevent it. Such action could have been decisive at 
various times when the ruling group was fairly evenly divided, 
such as when the militarists invaded Manchuria and the financial 
interests were wary. Furthermore, during the course of the war 
he has gone far beyond any historical precedents in supporting 
the military effort. Therefore, every effort should be made to 
secure his abdication, his acceptance of the onus for the declara- 
tion of war, for the war's unsuccessful prosecution and for the 
final defeat. We should encourage the propaganda of the demo- 
cratic Japanese in driving thisfK>int home to their people. If and 
when it will contribute to the disillusionment ol the Japanese 
people with the throne, we should try him as a war criminal. 

Since it is impossible to abolish the Emperor cult from the 
outside with any finality, it would be advisable to try to en- 
courage the cooling-off of Japanese ardour by putting the throne 
"on ice" as much as possible. One such step might be to allow 
the naming of one of Hirohito's children as his successor rather 
than his brother Prince Ghichibu who has strong connections 
with the Mitsui or his other brothers. There is plenty of pre- 
cedent for a child sovereign. For centuries, when the imperial 
institution was in eclipse, there was a succession of infant and 
child sovereigns, each one generally being forced to abdicate as 
soon as he approached maturity. 

The new Emperor should be installed in one of the more 
inaccessible, easily guarded palaces, like Hayama, and treated 
with courtesy. The only persons with access to him should be 
regents selected from the few members of the aristocracy with a 
record of opposition to militarism and leanings toward dem- 
ocracy. These regents would not have much power in view of the 
transference of policy and law-making powers to the occupation 
authorities during the period of military government. 

It is possible to do a number of other things to diminish the 
aura of sacred ness surrounding the institution* One is to publicize 
the tremendous holdings of the Imperial Household in banking 
and industrial stocks, bonds and land. It is not known in Japan 
that the Emperor's economic holdings make him almost as 
wealthy as the Mitsuis. Big Business is thoroughly and widely 
disliked in Japan, and if it were widely disseminated that the 
Imperial Household ranks with the largest combines, and has 
made war profits out of the "holy war", there would be a con- 
siderable amount of disillusionment. 

This education should be accompanied by actions which would 
deprive the Imperial Household of its billion-yen wealth while 
benefiting those whom the institution has helped to oppress and 
damage. The farmland should be turned over to tne tenants 
tilling it. The wealth represented by the vast holdings of bonds 
and stocks should be turned over to the Japanese treasury to help 
finance reparations to the countries which Japan has ravaged. 

The State Shinto shrines, and particularly Yasukuni, should be 
stripped of their militarist aspects. It must be emphasized that 
this renovation can be carried out only by the Japanese people 
themselves, but this does not preclude considerable encourage- 
ment from occupation authorities. These authorities themselves 
should be very careful not to encourage the retention of the cult 
by the use of any of the prestige words customarily used to 
describe the Emperor, such as Tenno Heika, meaning "Heavenly 

All superpatriotic films, which generally exalt the Emperor, 
should be banned and the widespread showing of Western films 
encouraged. The textbooks of Dr. Minobe ana other jurists and 
historians who have taken a rational or critical attitude towards 
the throne should be reprinted and free discussion and criticism 
of the throne encouraged. 

The positive, and thus the most vital, step in weakening the 
cult's hold is the strengthening of its natural opponents those 
who favour popular sovereignty against imperial sovereignty. 
During the penod of military occupation it should be possible 
to encourage the potential democratic forces in Japan in many 
ways. The occupying authorities will have control over the radio, 
Press and public gatherings. Allowing the anti-militarists and 
opponents of the Emperor cult to have access to the radio and 
Press, and permitting them to hold public meetings, while dis- 
couraging the anti-democratic and pro-Emperor elements, will 
be of great importance. Similarly, the occupying authorities will 
have the opportunity of assisting and encouraging the work of 

co-operatives, peasant leagues, trade unions and other popular 
organizations which are certain to emerge in the post-war period. 
In other words, our support must be given to those forces that 
desire to cany through a far-reaching programme of internal 
and political reform, rather than to those who seek to retain the 
old order shrouded in the blood-spotted vestments of the 



OUT OF the war has come a series of stories, jokes and humorous 
and semi-humorous conjectures which reflect a feeling which is 
widely held in the United States : the only good Jap is a dead Jap. 

One of the best illustrations of this attitude is contained in the 
instructions to advancing Marines on Bougainville : "Every Jap 
has been told that it is his duty to die for the Emperor. It is your 
duty to see that he does." 

On the battlefield this method has its merits. However, the 
same attitude is carried over into many of the plans offered for the 
post-war solution of the Japanese problem. One high-ranking 
naval officer has suggested that our post-war plans for Japan 
should be restricted to offering cut-rate, one-way tickets to a live 
volcano famous in Japan as a suicide spot. Washington has re- 
ceived a steady flow of suggestions and plans as to how to bring the 
war to a quick end and solve the problems of the peace such as 
causing an artificial earthquake which will cause all of Japan to 
slide down into the Pacific deeps. 

The prevalence of the feeling that the Japanese are an incur- 
ably war-like nation of 70,000,000 fanatics is also indicated by pub- 
lic opinion polls. In a poll taken by the Denver National Opinion 
Centre in June 1943, of those having opinions six out of ten 
persons felt that the Japanese will always want to go to war ; three 
out of ten felt that while the Japanese may not like war they are 
too easily led into war by powerful leaders; only one out of ten 
felt that the Japanese people do not like war and if they could have 
the same chance as people in other countries they would become 
good citizens of the world. 


The last-ditch struggle of Japanese troops on Attu, Iwo Jima, 
Okinawa and other places, reports of suicidal ban&d charges and 

mass civilian suicides have convinced many that all Japanese are 
incomprehensible, incurable fanatics. 

When American troops landed on the island of Tokashiki in the 
Kurama Group of islands in March 1 945, preparatory to the land* 
ing on Okinawa, they came upon a mass civilian suicide which was 
certainly incomprehensible at first. Advancing patrols of the 77th 
Division heard inhuman screaming and wailing and bursts of 
hand-grenades. FinaDy they came upon a gully littered with nearly 
200 dead and dying civilians who had committed suicide, using 
all sorts of methods from self-strangulation to holding hand- 
grenades against their chests. One group apparently included an 
entire family, consisting of a father, two small children and a 
grandfather and grandmother. 

When the survivors were questioned it turned out that the 
civilians were victims of Japanese propaganda stories that death 
was better than the fate which would await them at the hands of 
the Western barbarians. Japanese soldiers had told them that the 
Americans would violate and torture the women and kill the men. 
At the urging of the soldiers, and in order to save themselves from 
what they thought would be a more horrible fate, the civilians had 
attempted suicide en masse. 

The civilians who did not attempt to kill themselves, or else did 
not succeed, expressed amazement and gratitude for the food and 
medical treatment given them. In no case was there any attempt 
at suicide after capture and treatment by the American forces. 
There was, of course, tremendous remorse on the part of heads of 
families who had killed their children but did not succeed in doing 
away with themselves. One old man who had strangled his 
daughter was overcome with grief when he saw other women 
unharmed and well-treated. 

Along with the feeling of gratitude for good treatment and grief 
for those who had died needlcsslv was a deep resentment against 
soldier and civilian ringleaders of the suicide movement. A group 
of seventy civilian refugees, munching food, stopped when a 
Japanese soldier was put in the circle with them. They turned on 
him and denounced him with such vehemence that the American 
soldiers were forced to move him elsewhere for his own safety. 

This incident would seem to indicate that the civilian suicides, 
rather than being the acts of incomprehensible fanatics, were those 
of peoples so thoroughly isolated from any outside truth and so 
saturated with lying propaganda about the sadistic brutality of 
Americans that they preferred suicide to a fate which they be- 
lieved would be worse. 

The suicidal banzai charge of a hopelessly outnumbered Japanese 


military force is similarly comprehensible. The soldier and the 
potential soldier has been the particular object of propaganda vir- 
tually from the day of birth. In the schools, shrines, youth associa- 
tions, military camps, and through the newspapers, radio and 
movies he has been indoctrinated with one idea above all that 
there is no higher attainment than dying in battle for the Em- 
peror. But and here is the crucial point the authorities have 
not even trusted this saturating propaganda. They have reinforced 
it by a number of devices calculated to prevent soldiers from sur- 
rendering. The soldier knows that, if he surrenders, his family will 
be disgraced, and he has been convinced that he himself will never 
be allowed to return to Japan. The authorities have convinced 
the troops that if they are captured by American forces they will 
be tortured and killed, probably by being run over b'y a tank or 
bulldozer. In addition, virtually every unit has had a core of 
fanatic military fascists ready to shoot in the back any man at- 
tempting to surrender. Consequently the motivation of some of 
those participating in a suicidal banzai charge is not necessarily 
fanaticism, but the feeling that since their position is hopeless and 
they cannot surrender either honourably or safely, they may as 
well die in a final burst of glory. 


The Japanese leaders have betrayed their knowledge that their 
people are not incurably war-like by the extreme attempts they 
have made to prevent Allied propaganda from reaching them. 
After the overthrow of Mussolini, Japanese newspapers and maga- 
zines discussed in great detail the Allied methods of psychological 
warfare used in turning the Italian people against Fascism, and 
expressed concern that similar tactics would be tried against 

Japan. Tokyo revealed even greater uneasiness when American 
forces captured Saipan in July 1944. On July 16 the Asahi pub- 
lished an article entitled "Next Will Come Paper Bombs'*. This 

showed deep concern over the effect of leaflets which might be 
dropped in Japan by planes operating from bases in China and 
Saipan. It warned that "the United States and England are clever 
old hands at" psychological warfare. "They were successful in 
Italy and other places." 

Official circles predicted that intensified American broadcasts 
would emanate from Saipan, and the people were furnished with 
a list of official Japanese announcers and commentators. They 
were told to familiarize themselves with the sound of the official 
announcers' voices and to shut off their radios if any unidentified 
announcers or strange voices came on the air with news. 

On July 17 the Asahi betrayed the same fear: "Japan has for- 
bidden its citizens to receive short-wave broadcasts and thought 
herself perfectly safe, but from to-day onwards she cannot set her 
mind at rest". On August 15 the same paper warned that it was 
not entirely nonsense to say that the Japanese people were like 
hothouse flowers, since "it really can be said that as regards enemy 
propaganda, our ears have received very little training'*. 

As predicted by the Japanese, psychological warfare reached a 
new high in December 1944, when the United States Office of 
War Information began beaming broadcasts to Japan from the 
new and powerful medium-wave transmitter on Saipan. This 
new transmitter opened a vast new avenue for reaching the 

apanese people by radio. Until then Allied radio propaganda 
d been short-waved, and such broadcasts could only be re- 
ceived on a relatively few sets concentrated in the hands of 
Government officials, industrialists and militarist leaders. It was 
a tremendous advance when the Saipan station was able to trans- 
mit to an estimated 5,000,000 medium-wave receiving sets in Japan. 

The Tokyo radio attempted to answer this threat by calling on 
all its domestic listeners to turn off their receiving sets and go to 
bed at the end of the regular broadcasting schedule. The reason 
for this was that the OWI transmitter went on the air as soon as 
the regular Japanese broadcasting schedule was over. 

These frantic attempts to maintain the isolation of the Japanese 
people from the world of peaceful and democratic ideas have 
demonstrated official recognition of the fact that despite years of 
extremely intensive militarist indoctrination the Japanese are still 
susceptible to peaceful and democratic propaganda. 


The Japanese Government has not only been conrerned with 
passive susceptibility to these ideas, but has had to take extensive 
and brutal repressive measures against those who have militantly 
supported them, even at the risk of their lives. Japan is as close to 
a police-state as any country can come. For half-a-century the 
authorities have mobilized every weapon at their disposal to up- 
root and destroy all vestiges of democratic and peaceful thought in 
Japan. The Japanese ruYing oligarchy, both civilian and mfltary, 
has always maintained itself in large part through police terror. 
Even during the 1020*5, when the somewhat increased role of the 
political parties led many to believe that Japan was on the way to 
a constitutional democracy, the parliamentary fagade hid the sor- 
did reality of a police despotism which denied the people the most 
elementary human rights. 


It is difficult to exaggerate the extent of the powers of the police 
in Japan. They have always been at liberty to brush aside the 
existing laws under the pretext that their actions are required to 
"maintain the peace". Although incarceration without trial is 
illegal, even in the 'twenties the police were arresting people and 
holding them for as long as two years while "examining them. 
Many of those being held for questioning are later reported to 
have died of "heart failure". 

The same excesses of torture and brutality which the Japanese 
military have demonstrated against Allied prisoners and the 
people of the occupied areas were first unleashed by the Japanese 
police against those of their own people who resisted the drive to- 
wards aggression and repression. In the autumn of 1935 there 
was a publicly announced meeting of penitentiary wardens in 
Tokyo to discuss what torture instruments were best for Japanese 
prisoners. "A new instrument, undescribed, is said to be under 
contemplation for use on women prisoners", declared the Japan 
Advertiser of October 12, 1935. 

One of the outstanding examples of police brutality was the 
murder of Takiji Kobayashi, Japan's foremost proletarian writer. 
He was only thirty when he was killed in 1933, but he had already 
achieved a wide reputation with such powerful stories of popular 
discontent as The Cannery Boat. He had already served several 
prison terms for leftist agitation, and was again engaged in that 
type of illegal activity when he was -caught by the police on 
February 21, 1933. On the street he struggled with the police for 
half-an-hour and almost succeeded in escaping. He was finally 
overcome and dragged to the police station, where third-degree 
methods were applied to him. Within five hours he was tortured 
to death, apparently without revealing the names of his associates. 
The police secured a death certificate which stated that he had 
died of "heart trouble", and the body was handed over to his 
mother, who, when she saw it, refused to believe the police story. 
Friends contacted all the big hospitals requesting a post-mortem 
examination, but were refused everywhere. One hospital finally 
did consent, only to refuse when the body was brought and they 
realized its identity. Photographs of the body were taken, how- 
ever, and these clearly revealed evidence of torture. On the fore- 
head was the brand of a red-hot poker. On the neck were the cuts 
of a thin, tight rope. The wrists showed handcuff bruises, while 
one wrist was twisted completely around. The entire back was 
rubbed raw, and from the knees up the legs were swollen and 
purple with internal bleeding. 

Arrest and brutal torture were experienced not alone by the 

Communists, although those arrested were generally described as 
"Communists" or possessors of "dangerous thoughts'*. Between 
1931 and 1934 more than 24,000 alleged Communists were seized 
and imprisoned. The Japan Times reported in 1936 that more 
than 59,000 persons had been arrested for various "dangerous 
thoughts" offences during the preceding three years. These 
offences extended to any intellectual, political or economic devia- 
tion from that prescribed by the increasingly repressive and 
aggressive Government. In addition to actual Communists and 
leaders of labour and peasant unions who sought more rice for 
their followers, teachers in primary schools were arrested for seek- 
ing to give a modern interpretation to the Emperor myths that 
pass for history in Japan. Nurses were arrested for asking for more 
than forty cents in payment for twelve hours of work ; so were uni- 
versity professors who contributed funds to help liberal candidates 
seek election to the Diet. Not only left-wing workers, but lawyers, 
college professors and the sons and daughters of millionaires, of 
members of the House of Peers and of judges were among those 
caught in the police dragnet. 

Japan, like German}', made every effort to crush internal oppo- 
sition before embarking upon its major aggression; and by the 
time of Pearl Harbour, Japan's political organizations and trade 
unions had been fairly thoroughly crushed. But perhaps the most 
important political victory which the Japanese oligarchy won in 
the course of its suppressive efforts was won in the Unitecl States. 
The military fascists benefited greatly from the failure of Ameri- 
cans to realize that the internal suppression of democrats, arid even 
radicals in Japan was a vital step in the direction of external ag- 
gression against the United States and other peaceful powers. We 
did not realize that the torture and death of a Japanese leftist for 
opposing war was preliminary to a war in which American, 
British and Chinese prisoners of war were to be tortured and 

Even after Pearl Harbour there have been a fairly considerable 
number of indications of a persistence of anti-militarism, parti- 
cularly among intellectuals and industrial labourers. There have 
been authentic reports of arrests, strikes, absenteeism, the ban- 
ning of leading magazines. Had such events occurred in Germany, 
they would have merited newspaper headlines. Because they hap- 
pened in Japan they \vere almost entirely ignored. 


The capture of Saipan in July 1944, and with it the capture of 
thousands of Japanese civilians, gave American psychological 


warfare officials their first opportunity to determine Japanese re- 
actions without having to guess at trie inner significance of in- 
formation gleaned from Japanese broadcasts or captured periodi- 
cals. In order to get answers to questions in which they were 
interested, a poll was conducted on Saipan in Camp Suspe, where 
13,243 Japanese were housed. 

This poll was conducted by American officers trained in the 
Japanese language, and was limited to 500 Japanese civilians 
selected according to education, station in life and sex, so as to 
give the nearest possible cross-section of civilian Japanese opinion 
as it might exist in the homeland. One of the questions asked 
was: "Do you want a government in which the people rule?" 
Of those answering fifty-one said "yes", 290 said "no" and 151 de- 
clared that they did not know. Thus one out of ten interrogated 
and one out of seven with opinions expressed a desire for dem- 

At first sight this percentage may seem very small, and therefore 
discouraging to hopes for a democratization of Japan. But a 
closer study of these results shows such pessimism not only un- 
warranted, but dangerous. 

It is not at all surprising that only a small minority answered in 
the affirmative to the question : "Do you want a Government in 
which the people rule?" It would be more indicative of the real 
democratic potential of Japan if the farmer being polled were 
asked whether he wanted a democracy which could bring him 
lower rents and taxes and the ability to buy his own land on easy 
terms. The industrial worker should be asked whether he is in- 
terested in supporting a democracy in which he could obtain an 
eight-hour day, the right to organize free trade unions of his own 
choice and to bargain collectively. The small business man and 
merchant should be asked whether they would work for a dem- 
ocracy in which the tremendous power of Mitsui and Mitsubishi 
could be curbed and the little fellow given an opportunity. And 
the intellectual should be queried as to his reaction to a democracy 
which would permit freedom of expression and give him the op- 
portunity to use his talents for the general welfare. 

For every Japanese who consciously desires a democratic 
government there are probably a half-dozen peasants, workers, 
and small business men with a purely negative resentment of their 
present condition. This majority does not as yet connect its deep 
hunger for an improvement of its absymally depressed condi- 
tion with the political system of democracy. It thinks of dem- 
ocracy in terms of corrupt political parties owned by the great 
trusts and big landlords. It has as yet no concept of the possi- 

bjh'ties of democracy in its full Lincolnian sense : government of, 
by andybr the people. 

If these implications and possibilities of popular rule had been 
developed in the poll of the Saipan civilians, it would almost cer- 
tainly have produced a larger proportion in favour of democracy 
for Japan. 

Even a small minority favouring democracy is a tribute to 
popular resistance to the pressures of military fascism. For up- 
wards of half a century the Japanese have been subjected to an 
unending stream of all-pervading propaganda extolling imperial 
sovereignty against sovereignty of the people. They have been in- 
culcated with the idea that their "spiritual superiority" was due to 
their possession of a "heaven-descended" monarchy. On the other 
hand, Japanese governmental and semi-official propaganda has 
ridiculed the democracies as soft, effete, selfish ana "spiritually 
weak". Furthermore, during the 'twenties the major political par- 
ties which pretended to favour democracy had turned out to be 
corrupt tools of the giant trusts, and police terror made it ex- 
tremely difficult to support any political party closer to the needs 
of the people. For even a minority to retain a belief in democracy 
under these circumstances is a tribute to the strength of the belief. 


The existence of this minority of conscious opponents of the old 
regime can be of inestimable value to the occupying authorities. 
Although these authorities have supreme power during the period 
of occupation, the actual execution of our policies must necessarily 
be carried out by Japanese. If this democratic minority did not 
exist we would be forced to choose the least objectionable of the old 
regime's officials to work with those who would be least likely to 
sabotage Allied occupation policies. The existence of a democra- 
tic minority enables us to select administrators from among those 
in sympathy with the Allies and desirous not of retaining the old 
regime, but of diverting Japan into peaceful and democratic paths. 

In addition to the professionally trained democrats who will be 
needed for positions requiring their skills, other friendly anti- 
militarists can be of great service as a bridge between pur forces 
and the Japanese population. We have already had indications of 
how helpful this can be, one of the most interesting: examples 
Occurring during the period of the final pacification of Guam. 

The American marines assigned to completing the pacification 
of the island used two techniques. One was the usual one of wip- 
ing out the holed-up survivors with rifles, machine-guns and 
flame-throwers. The other was completely different it was 


psychological warfare aimed at inducing the Japanese to sur- 

The psychological warfare outfit was headed by two navy lieu- 
tenants, Lieutenant William Jones and Lieutenant John Oliver. 
On Guam they were the originators, producers and directors of a 
sound-truck show with which they toured the jungle country 
where the Japanese were hiding out. It wasn't a riskless job. They 
had an eight-man marine guard on the alert for ambushes ; more 
than once they were fired upon by Japanese diehards. 

The star of this show was a Japanese captive nicknamed 
"Taki". He didn't exactly belong to the aristocracy. He had been 
a civilian attached to the Japanese army, with the job of super- 
vising the feminine inmates of the "consolation-houses" whom 
that army had recruited in Japan and Korea. Taki had previously 
been a small business man driven out of his business by the 
Government-sponsored activities of a Daihatsu concern. After cap- 
ture he volunteered for the risky job of going out as an announcer 
with the sound-truck to induce the remaining Japanese to sur- 
render. His collaboration with our forces was a means of getting 
back at a society which deprived him of what he considered to be 
his just rights. 

With Taki went another volunteer who had been a sergeant- 
major in the Japanese army before his own surrender. 

Once the sound-truck, with its prisoner volunteers, marine 
guard and navy language-officers, reached its daily destination, 
the marine guards would deploy to prevent ambush and Taki 
would go into his act. For hours, spelled only briefly by the ser- 
geant-major, Taki called upon the Japanese in the jungle to sur- 
render. He told them that it was not a disgrace to surrender and 
that further resistance -was useless. He gave them the latest news 
of American landings and victories. He took verbal swipes at 
bushido and stressed the futility of fighting for the Emperor in a war 
which was already practically lost. The glory of dying in battle 
was nonsense, he shouted. "Bushido is dead", he declared, "there 
will be no bushido in the next generation." 

Because he was Japanese himself he could more easily persuade 
them that they would get humane treatment from the Americans, 
instead of the torture and death which propaganda had led them 
to expect. He told them that they would get good food and medi- 
cal treatment. "It must be nice to be hungry and get shot and live 
like animals", he would say sarcastically. "Maybe you would not 
like to be given food and American cigarettes, and American doc- 
tors if you are sick. Maybe you would like to stay in the jungle and 
be wounded and killed.^ 

Many prisoners were captured through the use of these two anti- 
militarists. A minority? Definitely. But a minority of great value* 


Time and again in Europe we have been surprised at the great 
rapidity with which democratic and anti-fascist groups have de- 
veloped once the tight band of repression is broken. With regard 
to Italy, hardly any of the Anglo- American experts would admit 
to the existence of any substantial number of anti-fascists up to the 
vecy fall of Mussolini. And then, when the opportunity presented 
itself, the anti-fascists not only appeared, but grew with what some 
considered embarrassing rapidity. 

Those Japanese advocating a programme of democracy and 
social reform have one great advantage over their German 
counterparts. The mass of the Japanese people have not at any 
time benefited economically from the war. When Nazi conquests 
were at their height, many a German family received a pound of 
butter a week from its soldier son in Denmark or Norway. Or per- 
haps it was bacon from Holland, silk stockings from France, 
sweaters from Belgium or shoes from Czechoslovakia. The poorest 
German peasant could get an Eastern slave to do the dirty work 
on the farm for ten marks. In short, Germans lived on the loot of 
all Europe. 

But for the common man in Japan there have been no material 
advantages from the war. The army has lived off the countryside 
in China and the southern regions, but there has been hardly any 
loot in luxury or consumer goods to ship back, or the shipping in 
which to transport it. And the small amount which did come went 
into the hands of ranking militarists and Daihatsu families, and did 
not filter down to the middle or lower classes. The giant Japanese 
trusts have gained through the exploitation of the southern region's 
raw materials, but the products have generally been war goods, 
and the great mass of the people remained on a bare subsistence 
level. Early in the war Japan's critical shipping shortage made it 
impossible to import any large quantities of rice. Similarly, the 
shortage of fuel, small ships and man-power ate into the Japanese 
fishing fleet and reduced the fishing catch. By the autumn of 1944 
large numbers in Japan made the transition from bare subsistence 
to slow starvation. The fact that the vast majority of Japanese pro- 
fited not at all from aggression is of great importance for the 
future. They will have no "good old days" of material prosperity 
from conquests to look back to, and even a slight improvement 
over their subsistence living as a result of the reforms of a demo- 
cratic government is likely to win their appreciation, 

D (D.LJ.) 97 

Further evidence of the democratic potential can be gleaned 
from a study of the Japanese prisoners. German prisoners gener- 
ally surrender much more easily, but for the most part they remain 
arrogant and insolent, contemptuous of the considerate treatment 
they are accorded. Among the Japanese captives, most are fright- 
ened at the outset, having been convinced by the Japanese 
authorities that we would torture and kill them. After the initial 
period of decent treatment, a minority of incorrigible military 
fascists remains sullen and unco-operative. The majority are co- 
operative and grateful for decent treatment, although they are re- 
luctant to express it if the fanatic militarists are around. Many 
express amazement and appreciation over the fact that they 
receive as good rations as our own troops in forward areas. - 

One of the most marked reactions of the Japanese captive has 
been towards the easy relation between officers and men in the 
American army. The Japanese army is thoroughly imbued with 
the oppressive feudal class system. Not only are officers free to 
strike enlisted men, but sergeants customarily cuff corporals, and 
corporals slap privates. One captive Japanese non-com was over- 
come with admiration for the democracy in American military 
ranks when an American officer lit his cigarette for him; for a 
Japanese officer would never "degrade" himself by lighting the 
cigarette of a subordinate, much less that of a prisoner of war. 

It would seem, therefore, that the forces for democracy in Japan 
consist of two groups at different stages of advancement. The van- 
guard is a fairly small minority of those who are consciously and 
courageously anti-militarist and strive for a new Japan in which 
democracy will be the keynote of its political, economic and social 
structure. The great reservoir of democratic potential, however, 
consists of that group which, as a result of long years of indoctrina- 
tion, does not as yet favour political democracy, but desires the 
better living standards, freedom of expression and reduction in 
social distinctions which come with popular rule. 

In view of this situation, the enlightened self-interest of the 
United Nations would seem to dictate twin actions : 

The first is to rely for our Japanese administrators on those with 
a consistent record of opposition to militarism. We shall be build- 
ing upon sand if we depend on turncoat opportunists who col- 
laborated unhesitatingly with the militarists and fascists so long as 
the going was good, and then sought to get out from under by re- 
pudiating their leaders in defeat. In other words, we should look 
more to the political prisons than to the counting-houses for the 
future leaders of Japan. 

The second course of action should be to facilitate the efforts 

being made by Japan's conscious democrats to harness the power 
of discontent to a broad movement capable of carrying through 
the required purification and the construction of a new Japan 
upon new foundations. 



ONE OF the most intriguing bits of political intelligence to come 
out of Japan during the course of the war was the revelation on 
June 27, 1944, that Yukio Ozaki, Japan's greatest democratic 
spokesman, had been acquitted by the Supreme Court of charges 
of lese-majest^. According to Domei, this decision reversed a pre- 
vious ruling rendered by a lower court under which the eignty- 
five-year-old Ozaki was convicted and sentenced to eight months' 
imprisonment, the sentence to take effect after two years. Ozaki 
had been "accused for a statement made during the course of a 
political campaign speech in April 1942". The authorities appar- 
ently felt that if Ozaki were to die in prison he would become a 
martyr for the few but persistent Liberal opponents of the regime. 
This action was more than a tribute to the courage and popu- 
larity of a veteran democrat. For Ozaki is more than an indi- 
vidual. Rather, he is the symbol of a whole stream of Japanese 
political life. 


During the 'eighties Ozaki was one of a group of young men 
leading a movement whose profound importance is little known 
either in Japan or in the outside world. This was the "Freedom 
and People's Rights Movement" (Jiyu minken undo), and its pur- 
pose was to broaden the limited technical, governmental and 
economic reforms of the Meiji period into a thorough-going demo- 
cratic and anti-feudal reformation like the American and French 

It is not at all surprising that in the Western world little is 
known of this dramatic movement. Actually the names of im- 
portant liberal leaders and theoreticians are scarcely known ^even 
in Japan, except for a limited circle of political and constitutional 
historians. The reason for this is that official circles in Japan have 
made a deliberate effort to obscure and distort Japan's early 
struggle for democracy. 

The democratic agitation, which reached its high-water mark 
in the yean 1880-1885, was a broad movement embracing wide 


and varied classes, and for a brief period constituted a serious 
challenge to the autocracy. Its criticism of Japanese 'society and 
Government policy was iricisive, and it appealed to the most en- 
lightened members of the former samurai class, the small mer- 
chants who complained of "taxation without representation" and 
the small farmers who were overburdened by taxation, rent and 
interest charges. By 1881 this democratic agitation had swept 
through the large centres of the country and was causing the 
Government grave concern. 

There were two parties spearheading this democratic move- 
ment: the Liberal Party (Jiyuto) and the Progressive Party 
(Kaishinto). The Liberal Party was the more dynamic, with a 
programme more closely keyed to the needs of the populace, and 
therefore it had a wider following. Its leader was Taisuke Itagaki, 
but its theoretician and tactician was Emori Ueki, who might be 
called the Tom Paine of the Japanese democratic movement. 

Ueki, like Paine, defended the principles of the French Revolu- 
tion, though he was careful not to claim baldly that republicanism 
was necessarily suitable to Japan. He favoured a thorough demo- 
cratic renovation, including the introduction of representative 
institutions based on universal suffrage and a bill of civil rights. 
He advocated parliamentary control of finance, the full control 
of the army by the civil government and the right of an elective 
assembly to impeach any Minister of State. Ueki wrote : "The 
Japanese State must not pass any law which decreases in any way 
the free rights of an individual Japanese". 

The intoxicating ideas of a liberal democracy propagated by 
the followers of Ueki created a ferment among the poorer classes, 
particularly in Kochi Prefecture in Shikoku, where the Liberal 
rary was most active. One of the most interesting glimpses of this 
ferment is provided in a contemporary newspaper account, trans- 
lated by the brilliant young Canadian scholar E. Herbert Norman 
in his recent study Feudal Background of Japanese Politics. It is a 
report of a meeting held on June 10, 1881, with Taisuke Itagaki, 
the leader of the Liberal Party, as the main speaker : 

. . . Itagaki spoke and as usual there was great applause 
and cries of approval through the building, but when this had 
died down, two sturdy workmen wearing blue denim (their 
names were Umaji and Ushitaro) jumped up on the platform 
and commenced to speak in favour of social equality and their 
words were spoken with such vehemence and passion that they 
put to shame the Russian nihilists. The audience looked at 
them with amazement because it appeared that they were not 

members of the audience but two of the cooks who worked in 
the kitchen of the hall in which the meeting was being held. 

Itagaki was moved so much by the strong feeling of the 
plebeian class revealed here in which they understood the 
changed situation in which Japan found itself that he again got 
up to speak and greatly stirred the emotions of the audience. 
The people of Kochi prefecture arc most earnest in disseminat- 
ing the principles of democracy and if even those who perform 
the task of preparing food can speak with such eloquence on 
the rights of social equality and display such feelings and pas* 
sion it goes without saying what strength the principles of our 
party [the Liberal Party] have in this prefecture. . . . 

That the Meiji oligarchy felt apprehension over such develop- 
ments was indicated by an attack on the democrats made by 
Marquis Sasaki a few years later, when he was Vice-President of 
the Japanese Senate: "In the present day such extreme people as 
those who shout and cry out to the populace about people's rights 
are disturbing the Empire by their pens and tongues. . . . [If] 
these violent extremists, this whole group of perfidious rascals, 
had attained their purpose then unavoidably it would have meant 
introducing the French Revolution into the country ; a constitu- 
tion of which we would bitterly repent would have been estab- 

The Progressive Party provided another sharp thorn in the side 
of the Tokyo autocrats. This did not appeal as strongly to the 
populace as the Liberal Party, but advocated moderate reforms 
on behalf of out-of-office bureaucrats, the city intelligentsia and 
some of the prominent merchants and industrialists, notably the 
Mitsubishi firm. During the 'eighties j>erhaps the most conten- 
tious subject was the problem of sovereignty. The Liberal Party 
declared that sovereignty lay with the people, while the Progres- 
sive Party declared that sovereignty lay jointly in the throne and 
the people's representatives. The oligarchy, of course, held that 
it was inalienably attached to the Emperor's person. 

It was in the Progressive Party that Yukio Ozaki got his first 
experience in politics, as a prote'ge of Count Shigcnobu Okuma, 
founder of the party. Count Okuma was fundamentally an oppor- 
tunist who, when out of office, became a liberal as a means of 
attracting popular support. Despite Okuma's personal oppor- 
tunism, many of his followers in the Progressive Party were sin- 
cerely and courageously liberal. The form which the opposition 
of both the Progressive and Liberal parties to the ruling autocracy 
took was primarily propagandist. They eschewed tcrrorim and 

violent Putsch tactics and utilized political meetings, pamphlets 
and newspapers instead as their most important means of reaching 
the people. During the early period of his political activity, 
Ozaki was primarily a newspaper-man, and he became succes- 
sively the editor of the Niigata Shimbun, the Hochi and later the 
Choya Shimbun, which under his editorship became the most im- 
portant Japanese journal championing the liberal viewpoint. In 
1875 the Government struck hard at these first beginnings of 
democratic agitation by passing a new Press law and a new libel 
law. A reign of terror was inaugurated against journalists and 
other advocates of liberalism. During July 1875 9 ver Y editor in 
Tokyo was arrested at least once and either imprisoned or 
heavily fined. 

But this did not stop the flow of newspapers and pamphlets 
opposing the oligarchy. In 1882 the already stringent Press laws 
were further tightened. In 1883 forty-nine newspapers were sus- 
pended altogether. In the next few years restrictions were made 
still harsher, culminating in the notorious Peace Preservation Law 
of 1887, an act specifically designed to rid Tokyo of liberal 
leaders. As a result, 570 liberals, including Ozaki, were driven 
out of Tokyo. 


After a tour of Europe and America, Ozaki returned to Japan 
to begin one of the most remarkable legislative careers in any 
country. He was elected to the Diet from Miye Prefecture in 
1890, and has been elected to every successive Diet since that 
time from the same prefecture. Under the Japanese constitution, 
the Diet's powers were severely restricted, and parliamentary 
leaders could at best be little more than spokesmen of public 
opinion. Ozaki was precisely this, utilizing his seat to play the 
role of "tribune of the people". He also capitalized on his close 
connections with Count Okuma to improve his position in the 
Government. When the latter became Minister of Foreign 
Affairs in 1897, Ozaki became Councillor of the Foreign Affairs 
Ministry, and subsequently served as Minister of Education in 
the Okuma Government of 1898. He did not, however, allow this 
position to interfere with his championing of popular rights, and 
actually caused the downfall of the Okuma Government in that 
year by an attack on the power of the great trusts in the Japanese 
Government, an act which took considerable political courage, 
because Count Okuma, his political sponsor, was a spokesman for 
Mitsubishi. Ozaki was severely criticized for his action, and the 
Okuma Cabinet was compelled to resign. 

In 1913 Ozaki launched the "Movement for the Defence of 
Constitutional Politics" in collaboration with Tsuyoshi Inukai, 
who later became Prime Minister and was assassinated by mili- 
tary extremists in the May i5th incident in 1932. It was in con- 
nection with this movement to convert Japan into a parliamentary 
democracy that Ozaki won the title God of Constitutional 


The impact of the World War and the Russian Revolution 
created a considerable political ferment in Japan. Socialist 
thought made heavy inroads among the intellectuals, and par* 
ticularly among the industrial labourers. At the same time tnere 
was a considerable upsurge of democratic ideology in middle- 
class intellectual circles, partly as a result of the wide influence of 
Wilsonian idealism. Wilson's attacks on Prussian autocracy and 
Prussian militarism were considered by many to be equally 
applicable to Japan's autocrats and militarists. 

Liberalism was widespread among Japanese journalists, and 
in some cases was reflected in the attitudes of important news- 
papers. For many years the Osaka Asahi and its sister journal, the 
Tokyo Asahi, were fairly consistent upholders of democratic ideas. 
They criticized the governing oligarchy and its aggressive mili- 
tarism and, in 1918, resolutely opposed Japan's intervention in 
Siberia. These attitudes were most objectionable to the militarist 
autocrats ruling Japan, and when the Osaka Asahi protested 
against the suppression of the news of the momentous rice riots in 
1918, the paper was indicted for disturbing the public peace. The 
trial was held in secret session, and the court ordered the Asahi to 
disclaim its liberal views, to print a public apology for its opposi- 
tion to the Government and to dismiss nine members of its staff 
who were suspected of favouring the establishment of a republican 
government for Japan. The president of the company publishing 
die paper was forced to retire temporarily as a means of demon- 
strating his contriteness for the liberalism of his paper. 

The staff of the Tokyo Asahi thereupon showed their distaste for 
the retreat of the Osaka paper. They published a manifesto of 
protest against the "craven attitude" of the Osaka journal. They 
warned that there was an attempt to foist the same "belated ideas 
of militarists and bureaucrats" upon the Tokyo paper as well, and 
attacked the "despicable actions of the Tokyo colleagues who seek 
to curry favour by truckling to the wishes of the bureaucrats". 
The men responsible for this manifesto, the entire political and 
economic staff of the Tokyo paper, thereupon resigned en mass*. 


Political ferment and democratic ideas were even more wide- 
spread in academic circles. It required considerable courage for 
Japanese college and university students to be interested in non- 
traditional ideas. Entrance to colleges and universities in Japan 
is extremely difficult, and comes only after severe competitive 
examinations. At the same time, success in Japanese communities 
depends to an unparalleled degree on the possession of a college 
diploma. Therefore there was considerable pressure upon the 
students to "stay out of trouble" by staying away from all non- 
traditional ideas. 

Despite this pressure, and despite close Government super- 
vision, the schools became centres of democratic thought. The 
bulletin boards of all the universities were filled with notices of 
new societies to study "sociology". All were viewed w}th grave 
suspicion by the authorities. An official order from the Minister 
of Education in April 1926 prohibited the formation or the meet- 
ing of any such societies, forbade even the private reading or dis- 
cussion of "studies concerning dangerous thoughts", and refused 
permission for the holding of any inter-university conferences on 
social studies. The oldest and one of the most influential univer- 
sities did not permit its students to draw books from its well- 
stocked libraries until their senior year, and then only in con- 
nection with the subjects of their graduation theses. 
, Some of the attempts to control student opinion were some- 
what ludicrous. In February 1926, for example, the Tokyo police 
grilled officials of Phi Beta Kappa on the suspicion that the 
society was radical. The police suspicions were apparently 
aroused by the fact that the group had a Greek name, but no 
Greeks were members ! 

Despite close police supervision, some of the courageous demo- 
cratic intellectuals managed to level some effective blows against 
the traditional ideas propagated by the governing oligarchy. One 
of the most telling attacks of this sort was an article under the 
innocuous title "The Ethical Significance of Worship at the 
Shrines*', which appeared in the December 1920 issue of C/aio 
Karon. The author was the liberal Dr. Sakuzo Yoshino, a profes- 
sor at Tokyo University and a leader of the New Man Society 
(Shinjinkai). In the article Dr. Yoshino struck an indirect but 
telling blow at the institution of deifying dead warriors by telling 
of a case which had occurred in the family of a friend. The father 
had been asked by one of his children why the souls of dead 
soldiers were enshrined at Yasukuni Shrine. He answered that it 
was because they had given their lives for their Emperor. The 
child then asked if a servant who had been employed in their 

home and who had lost his life in the war was enshrined there. 
The father replied that he was ; that this former servant had died 
in battle, and accordingly his spirit was enshrined at Yasukuni. 
The child knew that this person was a particularly bad character. 
He had lied, dissipated and had been an outright thief. The 
father finally convinced the child that no matter how bad a per- 
son he had been, if he died in battle, his former sins were blotted 
out and he became a god worthy of the worship of the best living 
Japanese. But after he had convinced the child, the father him- 
self was troubled by the influence of this incident on his child. 
He felt that the example of a bad person who had been elevated 
to the ranks of a deity was a poor influence for the moral education 
of the young. 

So lasting an impression was made by this somewhat indirect 
attack that even eighteen years later it was the target of violent 
criticism. In its issue of September 18, 1938, the Teikoku Shimpo, 
an influential Tokyo newspaper, resurrected this article and 
made a vigorous attack upon it. 

The author of this article, Dr. Yoshino, was not the only liberal 
on the staff of the Tokyo Imperial University. The social science 
faculty had a number of professors with a. democratic outlook and 
some who were fairly radical. Professor Mori to, of the Depart- 
ment of Economics, was dismissed from his position and sentenced 
to a brief term in jail in 1920. His crime was an article entitled 
" A Study of the Social Thought of Kropotkin", which he wrote 
for the journal Economic Research (Keizaigaku Kcnkyu), published by 
the University. The police declared that the article tended to 
propagate the anarchistic views of Kropotkin. Mass meetings were 
hcla protesting at the attack on Professor Morito as a threat to 
freedom of thought. Within a short time the leading bookstore in 
Tokyo was entirely cleared of Kropotkin's writings by students 
eager to read what the police had forbidden. In the months that 
followed, various magazines published articles on Kropotkin and 
the suppression of issues of four magazines resulted. 

Other more cautious professors in the Tokyo Imperial Univer- 
sity, Keio University and elsewhere managed to evoke demo- 
cratic thoughts and critical and rational attitudes in their student! 
without provoking suspension or police action. As a result of the 
activities of these liberal and leftist teachers, the most liberal 
strain in the educated middle classed is to bfe found today among 
those who received their university training in the 'twenties, 
particularly at the Tokyo Imperial University. 

During the liberal resurgence of the 'twenties, Yukio Ozaki 
remained the outstanding political spokesman of anti-militarist, 

D2 105 

democratic thought. In February 1921 he introduced a resolu- 
tion in the lower house of the Diet demanding a reduction of 
naval armaments in concert with Great Britain and the United 
States, in accordance with the provisions of the Covenant of the 
League of Nations. He publicly opposed the Peace Preservation 
Laws of 1925 and 1928, which imposed even rtore drastic restric- 
tions upon "dangerous thoughts". 

What is more important, however, is the fact that he continued 
to work and speak openly for peace in the 1930*5, when it had 
become physically dangerous to do so. In 1932, while travelling 
abroad, Ozaki declared that it was a "high act of nonsense to 
suggest that Manchukuo had been formed by the free will of the 
people". He repeated this point of view in 1935 in an article in 
the magazine Kaizo, entitled "Reflections on Contemporary 
Politics". In this article he also supported disarmament, and, 
apropos of Manchuria, declared that small countries might 
legitimately ask international intervention for their protection. 

For this and other fearless statements, one of Japan's numerous 
terrorist organizations warned him that his life was in danger. 
Ozaki commented on this threat in a letter to his son : 

Assassination is now much in vogue in Japan and any 
patriotic expression of opinion may expose me to danger. . . . 
For a public man the best form of death is to fall victim to the 
cold hand of an assassin. Mr. Inukai, my old friend, was killed 
in his official residence. I could not help envying him; it was 
a death befitting a statesman. 

Ozaki was not alone in his continued resistance to military 
fascism. In 1933, for example, Yokitatsu Takikawa was dismissed 
from his post as professor of politics at Kyoto Imperial University 
Law School for declaring that the laws in any country were con- 
ditioned by its economic structure. Every other professor in the 
Law School resigned in protest. The Kyoto University students 
remained away from classes ; and when 6000 students of Tokyo 
Imperial University also walked out, the Japanese higher educa- 
tional system experienced its first sympathetic strike. Many 
student leaders were arrested, but in that same year 800 Tokyo 
University students demonstrated in protest against the "im- 
perialist war" in China. 

In view of the unparalleled extent to which a university degree 
is essential for future success in Japan, this continued opposition 
on the part of university students to the Government's repressive 
measures takes on added significance. That so many students, 
many of them from prominent families, were willing to sacrifice 

their hopes for a career in politics or business by engaging in 
"radical activities" was strong indication that the reactionary 
rulers of Japan had not succeeded in crushing ail potential 
democratic leadership. 

The election of February 1936 gave a renewed indication of 
popular resistance to the steady drift towards military fascism. 
Fascism was the central issue in this campaign. The Minstito, 
the more moderate of the two major parties, had as its election 
slogan: "Which shall it be parliamentary government or 
fascism?" The Social Mass Party, a moderate labour party 
headed by professors, lawyers and publicists, and supported by 
the bulk of the trade unions, took an even stronger stand against 
the drift towards fascism and war. The public showed an ex- 
tremely active interest in the election: 11,100,000 votes were 
cast, representing some 80 per cent of the electorate. 

Virtually every feature of the election returns demonstrated the 
strength of the anti-fascist tide in the electorate. The Minseito 
replaced the warlike Seiyukai as the largest party by a considerable 
margin. The Social Mass Party picked up fifteen seats, rising 
from three to eighteen. Most of the successful independents were 
liberals, including the veteran Yukio Ozaki. An unusually large 
number of military fascist candidates stood for election ; most of 
them suffered disastrous defeats. 

It was this demonstration of widespread opposition to war and 
fascism which precipitated, just six days after the election, the 
military fascist uprising of February 26, 1936, the largest and 
bloodiest coup d'ttat which Japan had yet witnessed. Ozaki was 
one of those listed for assassination, but managed to survive. 
Although this revolt did not succeed, it was a warning of the 
lengths to which the military extremists were willing to go. 

In the general elections of April 30, 1937, a bare ten weeks 
before Japan again invaded China, the drift towards military 
fascism was again an issue. The conditions under which the elec- 
tions were held are indicated by the Government's order to pre- 
fectural chiefs of police to prohibit "utterances liable to alienate 
the people from tne army" during the campaign. These were de- 
fined as statements "charging the military with trying to provoke 
a war, alleging that the fighting services mean to reject the par- 
liamentary system, arousing suspicion about obedience to orders 
in the services, or affecting the attitude of the people towards the 
conscription system 5 *. The outstanding result of these elections 
was the great increase in the vote of the Social Mass Party. It 
became the third largest party, polling nearly a million votes as 
a consequence of its vigorous anti-fascist election campaign. This 


development caused considerable concern in ruling circles, and 
the decision to attack China was made partly with a view to 
using a war "emergency*' as an excuse to liquidate opposition 
at home. 

After the invasion of China in July 1937, Japan's ruling oli- 
garchy moved, with ruthless thoroughness, to suppress all domes- 
tic opposition. Under Admiral Nobumasa Suetsugu, fire-eating 
Home Minister in Prince Konoye's first Cabinet, wholesale arrests 
of liberals, pacifists and radicals were conducted. In December 
1937 almost 400 men and women in the collegiate world were 
arrested and accused of being members of a "popular front" 
movement. All mention of these arrests by the Press was strin- 
gently prohibited for a month. This was followed in January 1938 
by 100 more arrests for no crime except that of holding liberal 
opinions. Baroness Ishimoto, prominent feminist known for her 
liberal-minded autobiography, Facing Two Ways, was also arrested. 
A number of the academic people arrested were charged with the 
heinous offence of "humanitarianism" ! 

"Liberalism must go I* 5 the Home Minister proclaimed in the 
Diet. The Dean of the Economics Department of Tokyo Imperial 
University, angered because his colleagues would not vote to dis- 
charge, without honour, one of the professors implicated in the 
liberal purge, resigned. In mid-February 5000 students in Tokyo 
alone were arrested for "not taking the [Chinese war] Emergency 

The severity of police repression after the beginning of the war 
in China increasingly placed liberals in five general categories. 
Some were in prison; others worked underground; the largest 
group was silent; some recanted their liberal views ; only a rare 
tew individuals continued to oppose openly the drive towards 
militarist dictatorship and war. 

Perhaps the most dramatic of the rear-guard actions conducted 
by Japanese democrats in the period between the outbreak of the 
China Incident and the attack on Pearl Harbour was that of a 
veteran Diet member, Takao Saito. He had shown his courage 
once before, in the spring of 1936, soon after the military fascist 
Putsch of February 26, when he made a fiery attack on army 
activities and defended parliamentarianism. On February 2, 
1940, he again mounted the rostrum in the House of Representa- 
tives, and this time levelled a violent attack at the whole Japanese 
war effort in China. He demanded to know what the Japanese 
people had received for their great sacrifices in China. Under the 
t( cloak" of a holy war, Saito accused, the army had drawn the 
nation into a conflict which it could not conclude. He demanded 

that negotiations with Chiang Kai-shek be opened to terminate 
a futile and costly undertaking. This was the first vigorous par- 
liamentary outburst against militarism since the invasion of China, 
and the army's political henchmen made every effort to see that 
it was not repeated. Three-fourths of the bold speech were ex- 
punged from the official record. The Minseito, of which Saito 
nad been an outstanding member for many years, disowned him 
and compelled him to resign from the party. A servile Diet voted 
his expulsion from the chamber. Ozaki was left as one of the few 
who continued to criticize the policies of the autocracy, and he 
was one of the few political leaders with the courage to maintain 
this attitude even after December 7, 1941. 


On the day that Pearl Harbour was attacked, the Japanese 
police arrested an estimated 3000 suspected opponents of the war, 
apparently hoping with one blow to wipe out the last remnants 
of resistance. But despite these arrests, and the additional restric- 
tions that came with all-out war, the forces of liberal resistance 
again made themselves felt. 

There is no evidence of any such activity, however, between 
December 1941 and March 1942, when the unexpected strength 
of the Japanese armed forces probably discouraged the resistance 
forces considerably. The first important indication of the survival 
of anti-militarist feeling among moderate democrats came with 
the re-election of Yukio Ozaki in the elections of April 1942. 
Ozaki's previous success at every election since 1890 was a record 
unparalleled in Japan, and perhaps in the world. But the crown- 
ing glory of his political life, and a striking evidence of the hardi- 
hood of Japanese liberalism, was his victory in 1942. In order to 
appreciate the character of this victory, it is necessary to recall 
the circumstances under which Ozaki was re-elected. The 1042 
election was held on April 30, after the fall of Singapore and at 
the height of Japan's military victories. Almost all of the few 
"moderates" who had still remained hesitant about the tactics of 
the militarists up to the outbreak of the war were deeply im- 
pressed by the amazing successes of the military forces, and were 
hastily climbing on the Tojo bandwagon. 

This was the first election Japan had had since 1937, and was 
rigorously regulated by the Imperial Rule Assistance Political 
Society, one of whose chief functions is to ensure the defeat of 
candidates such as Ozaki. It issues a list of "approved" candi- 
dates; naturally Ozaki was excluded. Many broadcasts were 
made to the Japanese people warning them to be careful of their 


conduct during the campaign. A Japanese domestic broadcast on 
April 6, 1942, stated that "careful watch must be kept on speeches 
wnich might encourage dissatisfaction towards the policy of 
Japan, unnecessary criticisms of wartime policy, difficulties dur- 
ing war-time, or criticisms directed to the social problems in 
relation to the economic hardships due to the shortage of 

Not only did the aged Ozaki seek re-election for himself in the 
teeth of this bitter opposition, but he campaigned for Daikichiro 
Tagawa as well. Tagawa is of Ozaki's generation, being seventy- 
five years old, and has also had a distinguished record as a demo- 
cratic leader. He has been an editor, Deputy Mayor of Tokyo, 
and Secretary of the Department of Justice, and had been elected 
to the Diet eight times previous to his candidacy in 1942. Like 
Ozaki he was anathema to the militarists. He had been im- 
prisoned for five months during the last war for tise-majesti for 
having stated that the choice of Count Terauchi as Premier in 
1916 had been made by the Elder Statesmen and not by the un- 
trammelled decision of the Emperor. In 1940 Tagawa was 
"disciplined" for disobeying military regulations, but on this 
occasion his sentence was suspended. 

In the middle of his campaign for re-election Ozaki was 
charged with lese-majestt for a statement he allegedly made in 
support of the candidacy of Tagawa. Despite this charge and 
other attempts to intimidate the voters, he was re-elected from 
Miye Prefecture with a total of 14,525 votes. Tagawa polled 
9274 votes in the third Tokyo district, but this was not sufficient 
to elect him. These were the officially announced figures, and 
it is possible that the actual votes were higher, because there was 
extensive ballot-box stuffing during the election. This was so 
flagrant in the Second District of Kagoshima, for example, that 
the election of four members to the lower house of the Diet was 
later declared null and void. 

In April 1943 Major General Nasu, Chief of the Military 
Affairs Bureau of the War Ministry, told a conference of pre- 
fectural governors, in a speech reported in the Tokyo Mainichi 
Shimbun, that individualistic and hberalistic words and actions 
still remaining in some sections of society gave rise to anti-army 
ideas. He declared that resolute action would be taken against 
any plots aimed at disseminating ideas estranging the army and 
the people and plotting to bring about the internal disintegration 
of the army. 

In the summer of 1943 General Tojo gave further evidence of 
the existence of organized discontent when he instructed pre- 

fectural governors that "People should not express anxiety and 
dissatisfaction" and banned all political meetings save those spon- 
sored by the Government itself. In October 1043 the official 
Dai Nippon Press Association warned that "all anti-national 
movements will be crushed 1 *. 

One of the most surprising revelations of the development of 
dissatisfaction among Japanese intellectuals was disclosed with 
the news that the leading intellectual magazines Kaizo (Recon- 
struction) and Chio Koron (Central Review), publications analo- 
gous to Harper's and the Atlantic Monthly in this country, had been 
banned in the spring of 1944. Domei reported on June 27, 1944, 
that Kaizo had discontinued publication after twenty-six years, 
but gave no explanation for the move at the time. 1 wo weeks 
later Radio Tokyo revealed that the Japanese Board of Informa- 
tion had suspended all publications of two of Japan's leading 
publishing houses, the Chuo Koron Publishing Company and the 
Kaizo Publishing Company, because "their policies were incom- 
patible with the proper guidance of public thought*'. The dis- 
patch admitted that the two magazines, which were the most 
important publications of the two firms, had "long played an 
important role in guiding the intellectual world" of Japan, but 
declared that the decision to suspend them followed an "investi- 
gation" by the Board of Information which disclosed that they 
'had followed editorial policies, which, from the standpoint of 
leading public thinking in wartime, were difficult to tolerate". 

It was not until several months later that it was revealed by 
the Japanese People's Emancipation League that the specific 
article which provoked the suspension of Kaizo was a criticism by 
the nutrition expert, Zawa Sakara, of the rice, grain and vege- 
table porridge sold at the semi-official restaurants. Sakara de- 
clared that this kind of diet is "not nutrition, but fat". Criticism 
of this sort by an expert was extremely dangerous, because it con- 
firmed the suspicions of many that the Government-sponsored 
diet was one of slow starvation. It is clear, however, that the 
Japanese authorities were not likely to ban an outstanding maga- 
zine because of a single article. There must have been a fairly 
deep-rooted resistance to militarism in these editorial circles if the 
Government could not clear up the situation by jailing a few 
men, but had to make public admission that the staffs of two 
leading periodicals were at best lukewarm in their support of 
the war. 

The uneasiness of ruling groups about discontent in intellectual 
circles was further evidenced in the Diet sessions of early autumn, 
X 944- A Japanese-language dispatch by Domei reported: "The 


Mouse of Peers, taking a serious view of the trend of the people's 
thought in wartime, established a thought investigation com- 
mittee within the House on August 26". On September 9, 
Yoshimi Furui, Director of the Police Bureau of the Ministry of 
Home Affairs, told the House of Representatives that "the 
Government is prepared to place strict control over speech which 
is harmful to unity within the country . . .". After the years of 
strenuous efforts by the Japanese police to wipe out any dissent, 
this statement must be considered an admission that these 
previous measures had not sufficed to suppress the rising tide of 

Further evidence in this direction was contributed by the 
Koiso Government in March 1945 when it introduced legislation 
to suspend special elections. Special elections had been held 
since the general election of April 1942 in order to fill the seats 
vacated by death and other causes. The Government's desire to 
call a halt to this customary procedure apparently was dictated 
by the fear that mounting unrest might be reflected in the elec- 
tion campaigns. 

These direct and indirect indications of the persistence of a 
liberal opposition in Japan do not, of course, demonstrate the 
existence of a well-organized and effective democratic resistance. 
There is little doubt, however, that there are thousands of 
middle-class democrats to be found among the professional men, 
the educated technicians, and the owners of small or medium 
businesses in Tokyo, Kobe, Osaka and other metropolitan cen- 
tres. Probably the largest proportion of them is to be found 
among those who received their higher education in the 'twenties, 
when non- traditional thought was most widespread in the univer- 
sities. It is probably true that they have been unorganized and 
that most of them have preferred silence to imprisonment or some 
more severe penalty. But their very existence is of tremendous 
import to post-war Japan. 

Ozaki, Tagawa ana Saito, as well as the lesser-known demo- 
crats, constitute a potential alternative for the leadership of post- 
war Japan to the so-called "moderates" in Japan's present ruling 
oligarchy. If Ozaki, Saito and Tagawa themselves are alive at 
the time of occupation, they will be eminently suitable to serve 
as Elder Statesmen. This would be a fitting final tribute to their 
opposition to militarism and fascist dictatorship and their ad- 
vocacy of friendly relations with the United States and other 
nations. Their popularity among the people, already substantial, 
will undoubtedly be enhanced by the discrediting of the mili- 

tarists they have so steadfastly opposed. And finally, their long 
records of devoted public service would render ineffectual any 
charge of "quisling" by their enemies. 

But it is to the younger democrats that we must look for the 
leadership of a new Japan and for the professional skills that 
Allied administrators will require during the period of military 
occupation. In this way we can help produce a genuinely anti* 
militarist leadership, capable of enlisting strong popular support 
in the post-war period. With our help, the democratic movement 
which was suppressed by the autocrats of another day can win- 
out over the autocrats of today. 



IN THE summer of 1943 the Japanese Minister of Agriculture 
decreed : "Dissatisfaction in the villages must be wiped out . . .". 

Some time later it was suggested to one of the foremost State 
Department pundits on Japanese affairs that agrarian discontent 
might be harnessed to a democratic movement in post-war 
Japan. He dismissed the idea rather contemptuously, declaring 
that the peasant is the most reactionary clement in the population 
and virtually beyond redemption. 

There is, in actual fact, a considerable amount of evidence to 
support the picture of the Japanese peasant as a conservative. 
It is in the villages that there is the most respect for the shrines 
and gods and the greatest devotion to the dynasty. Modern and 
foreign ideas have made considerably less progress among the 
peasantry than among urban dwellers. And the militarists have 
looked to the peasantry for their hardiest and most fanatic soldiers. 

But to dismiss the peasantry as beyond redemption is both 
pessimistic and dangerously incorrect. It is as superficial as the 
observations of another day which held that the Soviets couldn't 
possibly develop a mechanized agriculture or a mechanized army 
because the Russian muzhik was too tradition-bound ever, to be 
able to use machinery. And if we persist in the attitude that the 
Japanese peasant is hopelessly conservative, we will probably 
miss our greatest opportunity of striking a devastating blow at 
three-quarters of a century of pro- militarist, anti-foreign agitation 
and securing a major change in the attitude of the largest seg- 
ment of the Japanese population. 

While it is true that he is a conservative in some respects, it 


is equally true that the Japanese peasant is an economic radical, 
for he strongly desires a fundamental change in his economic 
condition. Few countries have such a strong tradition of agrarian 
revolts, of pitched battles with the police. The peasant's mer- 
curial character part radical, part conservatives-is a result of 
the terrific pressures built up by the agrarian crisis, a continuing 
crisis which is the most important factor in Japan's economic and 
political life. 

In the past, Japan's militarists have paid careful heed to this 
crisis. They have diverted the mounting pressure of peasant dis- 
content and land hunger into zealous support of foreign aggression. 
The results have been disastrous for the rest of the world. 

Agrarian pressures will mount even higher in the post-war 
period. The destruction of industry and transport in the final 
phases of the war, the scarcity of raw materials, the elimination 
of certain war industries and the temporary shutdown of others 
while being converted to peace-time production will all combine 
to throw many hundreds of thousands out of work. As in previous 
periods of mass unemployment, a large portion of these will go 
back to the villages of their origin, thereby adding to the burden 
on Japan's antiquated agrarian system. Therefore, it seems 
likely that unless it is understood and mastered, the dynamite- 
laden agrarian crisis may well explode in the faces of the 
occupation authorities. 

The agrarian crisis means more to us than the posing of an 
immediate problem in the early period of occupation. A solution 
of the agrarian crisis is an essential prerequisite for a sound 
political and economic future for Japan. Agrarian reform must 
serve as the cornerstone for the reform of the entire political and 
economic life of the country on democratic lines. If political 
democracy is to have a real meaning it must have grass roots: 
it must be based on the peasant proprietor and tenant farmer. 
Furthermore, a sound economy in post-war Japan must have the 
foundation of an expanding internal market, which again means 
the development of the peasant as a consumer. In short, the 
peasant is the key to Japan's future. 


The pervasive characteristic of the Japanese peasant is his 
extreme poverty and the tremendous effort required to maintain 
himself and his family above the starvation level. Although 
Japan has been able to raise a first-rate military force, its living 
standards have never been better than fourth-rate. The lot of 
its peasant majority is scarcely better than that of the colonial 

and non-industrial areas of Asia. Most of the Japanese peasantry 
have to render half or more of the harvest from their tiny farms 
as rent in kind to a landowner or as interest on a debt owed a 
usurer. They still cannot, for the most part, eat the rice they 
wrest from the soil by the difficult, unpleasant and unending 
hand labour of the entire family. Even at the best of times many 
have to live on millet, sweet potatoes and some imported rice 
of inferior quality. And during recurrent crises they are forced 
to sell their daughters to the brothels of the towns or send them as 
indentured labourers to the factories. 

Agrarian poverty is due in some part to the limitations of 
natural resources. As a result of the mountainous character 
of the country only 19 per cent of the land of Japan is arable, 
and only 15-5 per cent is actually cultivated. Yet before the war 
almost half of the population was dependent on agriculture for a 
livelihood. But although Japan's prospects for great agrarian 
prosperity are made dim by natural limitations of agricultural 
resources, its dire agrarian poverty is a product of a man-made 
system of semi-feudal agriculture, a system of sharccropping and 
hand labour on small farms averaging two-and-a-half acres in 
size. Like many of Japan's economic, political or social problems, 
the problem of agriculture dates back to the Meiji Government 
and its failure to eliminate feudalism on the land. 

Under the Shogunate, which preceded the Meiji Restoration 
of 1868, the peasantry lived in wretched poverty. One of the 
best descriptions of their lot is one by Kyugu Tanaka, who wrote 
in the nineteenth century: 

These people whom we call peasants are no better than 
cattle or horses. The authorities pitilessly compel them to 
pay heavy taxes; they are tho objects of a most onerous 
corvee, but they have nothing to say about it. We hear of 
many cases where they lose all their fortune, sell their wives 
and children and suffer all sorts of violence or are even put 
to death. They pass their whole life enduring blows and 
insults. . . . Petty officials lord it over them so that the 
peasant cringes before their threatening stare. . . . The 
arrogant behaviour of these officials is like that of a heartless 
driver of some horse or ox; after loading it down with a great 
weight he proceeds to rain blows upon it ; then when it stumbles 
he becomes more and more angry, cursing it loudly and striking 
it even with greater force such is the fate of the peasant. 

The peasantry did not remain inert. Some iioo peasant 
revolts are recorded in the last two and a half centuries of the 

Shogunate. It was the mounting crescendo of peasant revolts 
which shook the country from within, coupled with the foreign 
guns which threatened it from without, that enabled the Meiji 
forces to overthrow the Shogunate in 1868. With the Restoration, 
hopes arose among the peasants that now their burden of tribute 
and debt would be lightened. Furthermore, promises were held 
out by the new Government that all State lands except temple 
lands would be divided up among the peasants. 

But the feudal aristocrats who dominated the Meiji oligarchy 
were not interested in improving the condition of the peasants. 
Their primary interest was in the rapid development of the 
strategic industries required to make Japan strong enough as a 
military Power first to prevent foreign penetration, and then to 
join in the scramble for loot then under way in the Western 
Pacific. The wealthy merchants of Japan, who were also part 
of the oligarchy, could not raise the capital required for these 
industries because during the pre-Meiji period they had been 
cut off from foreign trade for two and a half centuries and hin- 
dered by other feudal restrictions, and thus their opportunities 
to accumulate capital had been limited. Consequently a large 
part of the burden of industrialization and military preparation 
tell upon agriculture, largely in the form of a land tax. 

The Meiji Government converted the peasants from feudal 
serfs into independent cultivators, owning their own lands, but 
replaced the exactions of the feudal lord by a land tax which was 
at least as difficult to bear. Under feudalism the portion of the 
crop due to the landlord was subject to some flexibility. In bad 
years a lord might not collect his full quota of tribute, for his 
maxim with regard to the peasants was to see that they "neither 
died nor lived". In the early years of the Meiji Government, 
however, the extraordinarily high rate of agrarian exploitation 
which had prevailed under late feudalism about 60 to 70 per 
cent of the crop was legalized and strictly enforced regardless 
of circumstances. Furthermore, this land tax had to be paid in 
cash, in rural regions where cash was scarce. When the tax 
payment fell due, the peasant had to barter a disproportionate 
amount of his crop in order to acquire cash. In many cases this 
did not leave him with enough food to feed his family for the 
remainder of the year, and frequently he had to borrow at 
usurious rates of 30-40 per cent. 

As a result of the high land tax, currency fluctuations and 
usurious rates of interest, spectacular shifts of land ownership took 
place. Tens of thousands of peasants were dispossessed. In a score 
of years almost a third of the peasantry had suffered expropriation. 


A similar process of peasant expropriation had accompanied 
the rise of capitalism in England in the eighteenth century. 
Small owners who lacked the land or capital to keep pace with 
improved agricultural production for the market had been forced 
to sell out and move to the cities to man the growing new in- 
dustries. As a result of the expropriation in England, however, 
the land was cultivated in larger plots with improved techniques, 
modern fertilizers, and finally agricultural machinery. In short, 
agriculture also became a capitalist enterprise. The owner in- 
vested his capital and exploited the land for profit, employing 
agricultural labourers who worked for their wages. 

In Japan, agriculture never made the full transition from 
feudalism to capitalism, largely because of the high rent charac- 
teristic of Japanese landlordism. It was computed that in the 
mid 'thirties, for example, rents in Japan were seven times those 
of England, about three times those of Germany, about four 
times those of Italy and three times those of Denmark and 

As a result of this high rent, absentee landlordism in Japan 
is a purely parasitic institution, since the landlord contributes 
nothing to agricultural production, being interested exclusively 
in collecting rent. He has not been interested in driving off the 
old tenants or peasant proprietors for the sake of taking over the 
enterprises himself and investing his capital. He has preferred 
instead to leave the peasant household working its tiny farm with 
primitive but intensive methods for an exorbitant rent. He can 
let out land, and receive in return more than half the produce 
without investing any liquid capital or running any risk. 

Despite Japan's limited arable area, there is an amazing 
concentration of ownership. It is estimated that while half the 
farm families own less than one-tenth the land, 7*5 per cent of 
the families own more than a half of the land. Perhajw the 
largest single holding outside of the Imperial Household is one 
of 4000 acres on the Echigo Plain, a tract which is tenanted by 
2500 families, or 14,000 persons. In all there are over 3500 
landlord! in Japan who hold more than 125 acres each. These 
large landlords have an average of juit under 200 tenants 
apiece, and between them account for one-third of all the tenant 
households in Japan. There are about 50,000 moderately large 
landowners with holdings of between twenty-five and 124 acre* 
each. In addition there are another million absentee landlords 
holding up to twenty-five acres. 


The smaller absentee landlords are drawn from the rentier 
class, which in the advanced industrial countries of the West 
is inclined to invest in bonds or gilt-edged securities. Until very 
recently there has been little opportunity for the Japanese urban 
middle-class investor to invest in the giant monopoly enterprises 
of the aibatsu, the shares of which were held largely in the 
fabulously wealthy families controlling those enterprises. Invest- 
ment in land has brought about 5 per cent return against the 
10-15 P er cent return from the inaccessible industrial and 
financial shares, but it has had certain compensations. Ownership 
of land brings with it social prestige and political power in the 
area in which it is owned. In addition, the small man who invests 
in land does not need any further capital. The tenant is usually 
required to furnish all the capital, including seed and fertilizer. 
Also, ownership carries with it the possibility of lending money 
to the tenants at usurious interest rates sometimes running as 
high as 40 per cent. 

Frequently the non-cultivating landowner also runs a sake 
brewing factory or is the part owner of a silk-reeling establish- 
ment. Silk reeling and a number of other small-scale industries 
are run for the most part on the labour of peasant girls. These 
peasant girls go to work most frequently to pay off their fathers' 
debts, and naturally the landowner to whom the peasants are 
indebted is in a good position to force them to work in his shop 
on pretty much his own terms. Furthermore, when the big 
textile mills want cheap labour they go to the landowner- 
moneylender who acts as a procurer by forcing the peasants to 
send their daughters off into indentured servitude in the mills 
to work off their debt to him. 

In this and other ways the big millowners and the landowners 
have a community of interests. The members of the peasant 
household who go to the city, whether daughters or young sons, 
generally stay for fairly short periods, returning to the village 
because of unemployment, or for marriage, or to help out during 
harvest time. This type of worker does not consider factory 
work a permanent occupation, does not develop the class- 
consciousness of a regular industrial labourer and is not likely 
to respond readily to the persuasion of a union organizer. 
Furthermore, they return to their ancestral village when un- 
employed. In this way the burden of the upkeep of the un- 
employed is largely removed from the State ana the factory 
owners; while at the same time the resultant overcrowding of 
the village tends to bid up the rent for the landlord. 



These burdens of parasitic landlordism, high rents, high 
interest rates and indentured servitude in textile mills rest on 
the stooped shoulders of Japan's harried peasant proprietors and 
tenants who actually work the land. Of the 5,500,000 farm families 
tilling the soil, some 30 per cent own the soil they work, slightly 
less than 30 per cent are tenants only, while the remainder, over 40 
per cent, are part owners, part tenants. This division has existed, 
with only slight changes, since the beginning of this century. 

At first sight one might assume that the peasant proprietor 
owning his own land would be comparatively well-off. Actually 
he is barely able to keep his -head above water and wages a 
constant fight to hold on to his land. He is generally so deeply 
in debt and his farm so heavily mortgaged that he frequently 
remains an owner in name only. Heavy taxation, monopoly 
prices for fertilizer and the necessity of borrowing at exorbitant 
interest rates when harvests are poor, have long ago reduced him 
to almost as pitiful a state as the tenant. Many a peasant owner 
pays nearly as much in interest to usurers as the tenant pays in 
rent, and in addition is burdened by heavy taxes. 

Despite his bitter lot, the peasant proprietor clings with 
passionate attachment to land which has been consecrated for 
nim by the toil of countless ancestors. In his struggle to remain 
on the land, as proprietor or part proprietor, he sells a daughter 
or a few square yards of land to cover his tax arrears, to meet his 
debt to the village usurer or to tide himself over a lean year 
caused by poor crops. He surrenders each square yard of land 
with the greatest reluctance. 

As the peasant owner loses out he is compelled to rent small 
bits of land because the small section he retains is not enough 
to support his family. These part owners, part tenants, comprise 
some 42 per cent of the agriculturists. 

But the lot of the full tenant is the worst of all. He is not a 
tenant in the Western sense, an entrepreneur, who pays a cash 
rent generally amounting to 10-15 per cent of the value of the 
crop, hires labour to work the land, and then takes both the 
risks and the profits of the enterprise. Rather he is a semi- 
feudal sharecropper. He pays a rent in kind for the use of rice 
land which amounts to a fixed number of bushels per acre 
irrespective of yield, but generally amounts to 50-60 per cent of 
the crop in rice lands. Out of the remainder of the crop the 
tenant has to buy high-priced artificial fertilizer, implements 
and seed, in addition to feeding and clothing his family. Natur* 


ally, the income of the tenant depends in large part on the crop. 
In a good year the tenant's share increases somewhat, but since 
the demand for agricultural products is relatively inelastic, its 
price is likely to fall drastically, especially at harvest time. Thus 
it is possible for the tenant's money income to decrease despite 
a good crop. 

In addition to the fluctuations of the market, the tenant is 
also afflicted with insecurity of tenure, a condition which has 
given rise to many agrarian conflicts in the last two decades. 
Under the custom prevalent in Japan, the landlord has the right 
to order a tenant off his land virtually at will. Under ordinary 
circumstances he will do so if he feels that he can get a higher 
rent for it. Therefore if a tenant works hard, improves the land 
by putting in a good deal of expensive fertilizer, or improves 
the irrigation, he is apt to be evicted to make way for another 
tenant who is willing to pay a higher rent to the landlord for the 
improvements put in by the previous tenant. 


One of the products of these oppressive conditions of rural 
exploitation has been a recurrently explosive situation in the 
supposedly "conservative" rural areas. The Meiji Government 
itself was ushered in during the 'sixties by a crescendo of peasant 
revolts. The peasants had hoped that with the advent of the 
Meiji Government their overwhelming burden of rent and debt 
would be lightened. When they discovered that, on the contrary, 
it was to be increased, they showed their dissatisfaction partly 
by a renewed series of peasant revolts and partly by participating 
in new and significant agrarian political organizations. 

The number of peasant revolts for the first decade of the 
Meiji era was well over rgo. At first sight, many of these revolts 
seem to be directed primarily against the innovation* of the new 
regime. Peasants became riotously excited by wild rumours that 
the numbering of houses was preparatory to the abduction of 
their wives and daughters. They were easily persuaded that the 
phrase "blood-taxes" in the conscription decree of 1873 meant 
just what it said literally, and that in joining the army they would 
have their blood drawn and shipped abroad to make dye for 
scarlet blankets. They believed that the new schools were places 
where their children would have their blood extracted ana that 
the new telephone and telegraph lines would be used to transmit 
the blood. 

It cannot be. doubted that many of the uprisings which 
characterized the early Meiji period arose from the instinctive 

opposition of a backward peasantry towards the innovations of 
the new Government. But, as E. Herbert Norman has pointed 
out in his important study The Emergence of Japan as a Modern 
State, "While these old wives' tales and naSve misunderstandings 
of the healthy attempt of the government to modernize the 
nation acted as the spark which ignited the uprisings, somehow 
the flames always spread to the quarter of the richest usurer, the 
land-grabbing village headman, the tyrannous official of the 
former feudal lord". (Italics Mr. Norman's,) 

In many cases, too, the resentment against innovations was 
based on justifiable fears. Peasant resistance to the introduction 
of a new calendar arose from the fear that the usurers would 
take advantage of this reform to juggle their accounts to their 
own advantage. They objected to a land survey imposed by the 
new Government because, of its total expense of 40,000,000 yen, 
the peasant proprietors were forced to pay 35,000,000. Thus, 
although the great wave of peasant revolts in the first decade of 
the Meiji Government had an overtone of superstition and 
resistance to innovation, its main weight was thrown against 
the usurer, the rice broker, the village headman, in short against 
ail the personifications of feudal oppression. 


In the second decade of the Meiji era that is, after 1877 
the deep resentment of the peasantry found an outlet in political 

The political movement among the peasantry had small 
beginnings. In some areas of the country, notably around 
Tokyo in Shizuoka, Ibaraki, Gumma and Saitama, the pervasive 
peasant resentment against high taxes and evictions found ex- 
pression in local organizations with revealing names like Debtors' 
Party (Shakkinto), Poor People's Party (Kyuminto) and Social 
Party (Shakaitd). They originated in the attempts of impoverished 
peasants to oppose wholesale evictions. Gradually they gave 
voice to wider demands, and in handbills and manifestoes which 
they circulated thev campaigned for rent decreases, a mora- 
torium on debts and popular elections to a democratic assembly 
through which the needs of the peasantry could find expression. 

At the same time that the peasants' pressing material demands 
were broadening out into the political field, the movement for 
political democracy found it increasingly necessary to sink its 
roots among the masses. At the inception of the movement for 
political democracy the opponents of the Meiji oligarchy ignored 
the great majority of the population. They addressed petitions 

to the Government and the Emperor signed by a handful of 
intellectuals and out-of-office bureaucrats. The petitions re- 
quested the election of a popular assembly and other democratic 
reforms, but the Meiji aristocrats were not to be persuaded by 
the reasoning of a handful of powerless opponents. 

The liberals finally recognized the weakness of their position 
and set about remedying it. In March 1879 the Society of 
Patriots (Aikokusha), a predecessor of the Liberal Party, decided 
to present a mass petition for the establishment of a national 
assembly. It divided the whole country into ten sections and 
dispatched propagandists to each of them. As a result of this 
activity the society sank its roots all over the country. When it 
met in convention in March 1880 there were several thousand 
delegates on hand, representing ninety-six societies with a total 
membership of some 100,000. The Government demonstrated 
its fear of the deep roots the movement was developing by 
suddenly enacting a law restricting public meetings. Further- 
more, the new law was enforced on the same day by a telegram 
ordering the dissolution of the convention. The leaders of the 
society had been warned of the Government's intention, and in- 
stantly passed a resolution to continue the organization until the 
establishment of a national assembly, simultaneously renaming 
the society the "League for the Establishment of a National 
Assembly". (Kokkai Kisei Domei ICai.) 

Since the League was ignored or rebuffed by the Tokyo 
officials, it decided to demonstrate its popular support by 
securing the signatures of a majority of the entire population to 
a petition demanding the establishment of popular government. 
The response it met was strong enough to make it possible to 
keep a stream of delegations from vaiious parts of the country 
pouring into Tokyo. Their constant visits to Government 
offices and to Ministers of State proved to be so vexatious that 
the Government issued an order oirccting all petitions and mem- 
orials to be forwarded through the local authorities. This caused 
the roots of the liberal movement to grow still deeper among the 
people, for now the whole movement had to be decentralized 
and adapted to local conditions. For the first time in Japanese 
history, meetings of a political character were held in every 
province. The liberal leader Itagaki made a speaking tour of 
the country and was welcomed everywhere, not only in the cities, 
but in the rural districts as well. 

In this way, under pressure of the Government's oppressive 
economic and political policies, the peasants became interested 
in politics and the liberal politicians became interested in the 

peasant. This linking of the agrarian movement with the liberal 
movement was of the greatest significance. It had been the 
acquisition of just such mass support among the French peasants 
which had given the French Revolution the strength required 
to overthrow the Bourbons. 

The authorities were particularly concerned when this broad 
coalition found national expression in the Liberal Party (jfivuto), 
founded in 1881 under the leadership of Itagaki. Although the 
national leadership's liberalism was primarily political, the local 
branches of the Liberal Party quite often had fairly radical 
leaders who stirred up popular sentiment not only in favour of 
representative political institutions but also for rent reductions 
and the other demands of the peasantry. The Governor of 
Fukushima Prefecture voiced the bitter opposition of Government 
circles to such developments when he declared : "As long as I 
am in office I will not allow the Liberal Party and other assassins 
and bandits to raise their heads 1 '. 

The resourceful Meiji oligarchs met the threat of the Liberal 
Party by splitting and suppressing it. By inducing Itagaki and 
another leader, Shojiro Goto, to visit Europe, ostensibly to study 
political questions, they left the democratic movement leader less 
at the most critical moment in its struggles. This discredited the 
leaders of the party in the eyes of the rank and file. 

Angered and bewildered by what seemed to them the defection 
of their chiefs, the local leaders of the Liberal Party and the 
Debtors* Party in many cases took to insurrection as a means of 
achieving the economic and political ends of the peasant-linked 
liberal movement. One of the outstanding revolts of this kind 
took place in Chichibu in Saitama Prefecture in 1884. In this 
area the Debtors' Party, in collaboration with a radical group 
from the local Liberal Party, aroused the peasantry and the 
village poor against the landlords. When the police arrived on 
the scene the peasants resisted them forcibly until they finally 
were quelled. There were similar revolts in Aichi and Ibaraki 
during the next two years. 

While the Government was suppressing these agrarian- 
democratic revolts, the more cautious and conservative leaders 
of the Liberal Party dissolved the organization to clear it of the 
stigma of inciting to revolt. Some of these leaders, while be- 
lievers in political democracy, were also landlords who feared an 
aroused peasantry. 

The Government was able to use the newly organized conscript 
army to suppress the revolts. Conscription had been instituted 
not only for purposes of foreign combat. The Government, 


recognizing the bitter poverty of the peasantry and having 
determined not to do anything to alleviate that poverty, made 
provision to keep agrarian unrest within bounds with the Con- 
scription Act of 1873. The very existence of a sizable national 
army, with garrisons in strategic locations, made peasant up- 
risings less likely. At the same time conscription gave the 
authorities an opportunity to indoctrinate the peasant youth and 
to divert it from the pressing problems of rents, interest and 
taxes to the glories of war and conquest. Instruction in the 
barracks emphasized loyalty, and stressed the dangers of seditious 
concepts such as democracy, universal suffrage and the like. 
Field-Marshal Yamagata, the evil genius behind much of 
Japan's militarism and reaction in that period, forbade soldiers 
to* join political associations with democratic or liberal tendencies 
and warned against "giving free rein to idle chatter about the 
people's rights under the guise of discussing current affairs". 

But not all of the military leaders supported the use of the 
army against the people. One of those in disagreement, Takeki 
Tani, observed : "[To] our shame there is something which cannot 
be hidden even if we forcibly tried to gag the mouths of others ; 
and that, as everyone knows, is that die army, created for the 
purpose of guarding the country against a foreign foe, slaughters 
the discontented populace of our country ; this is truly a disgrace 
that can hardly be borne". 

The split between the conservative parliamentary democrats 
and the agrarian radical leaders, and the suppression of the 
premature and uncorrclated revolts, set back both the peasant and 
the parliamentary movements tremendously. The peasant move- 
mfcnt, already prostrate, was given a further blow in 1900 when 
the Diet passed the Public Peace Police Law which practically 
prohibited tenant farmers from agitating in their own interests. 


The mass of peasants and tenants were roused again from 
their resigned poverty by the impact of World War I and the 
economic distress and political agitation which followed in its 
wake. The great rise in the price of manufactured goods, 
particularly artificial fertilizers, more than doubled the burden 
of debt of the peasantry between igi6 and 1922. The price of 
rice and other agricultural products rose at a somewhat slower 
rate. Tenants, part owners and many peasant cultivators had 
to sell their crops when prices were low, and could not afford 
to buy back, enough to live on later when the prices soared. 
Famine stalked the countryside. 

The peasantry showed their great need and deep resentment 
in a great upsurge of rural discontent. The Rice Riots of 1918, 
which swept Japan like a prairie fire, took hold not only in the 
towns and cities, but in the villages as well. The number of 
officially recorded tenant-landlord conflicts rose from eighty- 
five in 1917 to 408 in 1920. During the same period local tenant 
unions increased from 130 to 382 in number. The chief demand 
of these young, struggling organizations was a reduction in the 
oppressive land rents, but at this early stage of their development 
they were not strong enough to force any concessions. 

The peasant movement entered on a new phase in 1922 with 
the formation of the Japanese Peasants' Union (Nippon Nomin 
Kumiai), the first association of tenants and peasant cultivators 
on a national scale. Despite Government attacks and interference, 
the organization increased in strength and militancy. By 1926 
Government statistics admitted there were over 4000 local 
peasant unions with a total membership of 368,000. In that same 
year over 2000 agrarian disputes, involving 1 1 7,000 peasants, 
took place. The Peasants' Union did not restrict itself to purely 
economic 'struggles. It was primarily responsible for the for- 
mation of the Farmer-Labour Party (Nomin Rodoto) in 1925, 
Perhaps the best indication of this party's potentialities was the 
fact that it was suppressed on the day it was formed. 

In 1928 the Government of the notorious General Tanaka 
attempted to suppress all popular and left-wing movements, 
partly because they were opposing his policy of sending troops 
to intervene in China. Stern repressive treatment was meted 
out to the agrarian movement. The Peasants' Union was sup- 
pressed, and only permitted to function again after it had purged 
itself of suspected Communists. In Kagawa Prefecture, a centre 
of agrarian activity, the authorities stamped out the unions 
almost completely and forced the resignation of four agrarian 
members of the prefcctural assembly. 

This suppression was inspired in large part by the landlords 
who, during this time, not only were under the pressure of an 
organized and militant tenantry, but were also hit by the im- 
portation of cheaper rice from Korea and Formosa. The con- 
sequent fall in the price of rice meant a reduction in the money 
value of the rents the landlords received in kind. They attempted 
to transfer the burden of their losses to the shoulders of the ten- 
antry by exacting more rent. They used their legal right to 
evict tenants who would not agree to pay an even more oppressive 
rent. But the tenants defended their rights with increasing 
vigour. While in ig&fless than 2 per cent of the total number o? 


tenant-landlord conflicts resulted from tenants' attempts to resist 
eviction, by 1930 it Had risen to 40 per cent. 

The landlords met this increasing resistance with increased 
organization on their own part. In 1921 there were 163 landlord 
leagues, but by the end of 1928 the number had risen to 734. 
In 1925 the Greater Japan Landlords' Association (Dai Nippon 
Jinushi Kyokai) was formed "to impart to the landlord movement 
political strength on a national scale", and by 1930 the association 
had 30,000 landlord members. It announced its aims in the 
following terms : "We cannot permit the present situation in the 
countryside to be ignored in silence. . . . Lease conflicts are 
becoming more acute every year. Danger faces us. ... This 
association is fighting to protect the countryside from left radi- 
calism it endeavours to improve the position of the countryside 
by moderate measures of justice and seeks to prevent the tenant 
farmers from resorting to ill-considered actions. . . . The 
Association recognizes the human dignity of the tenant farmer 
and will endeavour by every possible social measure to improve 
his conditions and to put an end to the tenant-landlord conflicts." 

The landlords' methods of recognizing the tenants' "human 
dignity" were truly unique. Landlord leagues appeared before 
the courts and demanded that recalcitrant peasants be deprived 
of the right to cultivate land. Where the courts were not ade- 
quately co-operative, the organized landlords evicted the tenants 
forcibly, frequently calling upon the thugs of the "patriotic" 
societies for help. 


The crisis of 1929 tremendously accelerated the ruin of the 
peasantry. There was a sharp drop in agricultural prices : between 
1029 and 1933 Japan's income from rice and silk cocoons was cut 
almost exactly in half. At the same time the giant trusts were able 
to maintain their prices on manufactured goods and fertilizers. 

As a result of the fall in agricultural prices, the small landlords 
attempted to secure additional rents in kind to pay interest on 
their debts to the banks. They mercilessly shifted the weight of 
their depression losses to the backs of their tenants. They refused 
to allow rent reductions, and frequently evicted old tenants to 
secure new tenants at a higher rental. And added to this was a 
poor harvest in 1931. 

Actual famine swept many districts in 1932. Local banks 
shut. Towns and villages were unable to pay their teachers. 
In many villages the peasants were forced to eat bracken, roots, 
rice husks. In the schools children fainted daily from lack of 

food. In the Tohoku district alone the number of persons 
requiring immediate assistance was officially estimated At 

In some villages virtually all the unmarried girls were sold 
to the town brothels. According to the journal Chuo Koron, 614 
girls left a single village in Nagano Prefecture, 279 going to 
work as servants and 335 as prostitutes. In one village of 350 
households in Akita Prefecture, 50 girls became prostitutes in 
1934 alone. In Iwate girls were sold for as little as 50 yen each. 

The tenants and peasant owners attempted to defend them- 
selves against this increased burden of misery. The number of 
disputes rose. The three pre-crisis years (1926-1928) brought 
forth some 5600 tenant-landlord conflicts. In the three crisis 
years (1929-1931) 7600 conflicts took place. In the next three 
years (1932-1934) the conflicts totalled 12,000. The greatest 
number of disputes were concerned with evictions. In many 
cases the rising peasant struggle expressed itself in extreme forms. 
Riots were frequent, and at times the rice storehouses were 
broken open. At other times thousands of men and women with 
starving babies in their arms broka into the town halls and 
refused to leave until some rice had been distributed. Land- 
owners* residences were sacked and burned; police and court 
officers sent to execute judgments were resisted in armed conflict. 
The violence exhibited in agrarian disputes exceeded anything 
seen in urban labour disputes. 

One of these incidents is described in the Japanese periodical 
News of the Social Movement (Shakai Undo Tsushin) in November 

The tenants of a big landlord, the millionaire Terao of 
Osaka, demonstrated in order to get their rents reduced 
31*5 per cent. The landlord answered by getting the court 
to prohibit entry into the fields. This judgment had to be 
put into effect by the court officers, who came and hung 
up a notice forbidding entry. A crowd of more than 70 
tenants armed with field implements surrounded the court 
officers, wrested the notice from them and beat them. Police 
arrived immediately. Four persons were badly wounded, 72 
persons were arrested. 

The peasants' unions, particularly the left-wing ones, played 
m important nan in this rising conflict. The Japanese Peasants 9 
Jnion, which had been founded in 1922, existed until 1926 as an 
ntegral organization, when it split into three independent 
treams, right, left and centrist* After the invasion of Manchuria 

tenant-landlord conflicts resulted from tenants' attempts to resist 
eviction, by 1930 it had risen to 40 per cent. 

The landlords met this increasing resistance with increased 
organization on their own part. In 1921 there were 163 landlord 
leagues, but by the end of 1928 the number had risen to 734. 
In 1925 the Greater Japan Landlords 9 Association (Dai Nippon 
jfinushi Kyokai) was formed "to impart to the landlord movement 
political strength on a national scale", and by 1930 the association 
had 30,000 landlord members. It announced its aims in the 
following terms : "We cannot permit the present situation in the 
countryside to be ignored in silence. . . . Lease conflicts are 
becoming more acute every year. Danger faces us. ... This 
association is fighting to protect the countryside from left radi- 
calism it endeavours to improve the position of the countryside 
by moderate measures of justice and seeks to prevent the tenant 
farmers from resorting to ill-considered actions. . . . The 
Association recognizes the human dignity of the tenant farmer 
and will endeavour by every possible social measure to improve 
his conditions and to put an end to the tenant-landlord conflicts." 

The landlords' methods of recognizing the tenants' "human 
dignity" were truly unique. Landlord leagues appeared before 
the courts and demanded that recalcitrant peasants be deprived 
of the right to cultivate land. Where the courts were not ade- 
quately co-operative, the organized landlords evicted the tenants 
forcibly, frequently calling upon the thugs of the "patriotic" 
societies for help. 


The crisis of 1929 tremendously accelerated the ruin of the 
peasantry. There was a sharp drop in agricultural prices : between 
1929 ana 1933 Japan's income from rice and silk cocoons was cut 
almost exactly in half. At the same time the giant trusts were able 
to maintain their prices on manufactured goods and fertilizers. 

As a result of the fall in agricultural prices, the small landlords 
attempted to secure additional rents in kind to pay interest on 
their debts to the banks. They mercilessly shifted the weight of 
their depression losses to the backs of their tenants. They refused 
to allow rent reductions, and frequently evicted old tenants to 
secure new tenants at a higher rental. And added to this was a 
poor harvest in 1931. 

- Actual famine swept many districts in 1932. Local banks 
shut. Towns and villages were unable to pay their teachers. 
In many villages the peasants were forced to eat bracken, roots, 
rice husks. In the schools children fainted daily from lack of 

food. In the Tohoku district alone the number of pertons 
requiring immediate assistance was officially estimated at 

In some villages virtually all the unmarried girls were sold 
to the town brothels. According to the journal Chuo Keren, 614 
girls left a single village in Nagano Prefecture, 279 going to 
work as servants and 335 as prostitutes. In one village of 350 
households in Akita Prefecture, 50 girls became prostitutes in 
1934 alone. In Iwate girls were sold for as little as 50 yen each. 

The tenants and peasant owners attempted to defend them- 
selves against this increased burden of misery. The number of 
disputes rose. The three pre-crisis years (1026-1928) brought 
forth some 5600 tenant-landlord conflicts. In the three crisis 
years (1929-1931) 7600 conflicts took place. In the next three 
years (1932-1934) the conflicts totalled 12,000. The greatest 
number of disputes were concerned with evictions. In many 
cases the rising peasant struggle expressed itself in extreme forms. 
Riots were frequent, and at times the rice storehouses were 
broken open. At other times thousands of men and women with 
starving babies in their arms broKc into the town halls and 
refused to leave until some rice had been distributed. Land- 
owners' residences were sacked and burned; police and court 
officers sent to execute judgments were resisted in armed conflict. 
The violence exhibited in agrarian disputes exceeded anything 
seen in urban labour disputes. 

One of these incidents is described in the Japanese periodical 
News of the Social Movement (Shakai Undo Tsushin) in November 

The tenants of a big landlord, the millionaire Terao of 
Osaka, demonstrated in order to get their rents reduced 
31-5 per cent. The landlord answered by getting the court 
to prohibit entry into the fields. This judgment had to be 
put into effect by the court officers, who came and hung 
up a notice forbidding entry. A crowd of more than 70 
tenants armed with field implements surrounded the court 
officers, wrested the notice from them and beat them. Police 
arrived immediately. Four persons were badly wounded, 72 
persons were arrested. 

The peasants' unions, particularly the left-wing ones, played 
an important part in this rising conflict. The Japanese Peasants' 
Union, which had been founded in 1922, existed until 1926 as an 
integral organization, when it spfit into three independent 
streams, right, left and centrist. After the invasion of Manchuria 


the right-wing Japanese Peasants' Society (Nippon Nomin Kumiai 
with a membership of about 38,000, strongly supported aggressic 
on the continent as the way out for the Japanese peasant, bi 
retained the demand for state ownership of the land. 

The centrist Japanese Peasants' Federation (Nippon Norn 
Sodomei) was headed by Bunji Suzuki, an opportunist and coi 
servative labour leader who was sufficiently well regarded by tl 
Japanese Government to be sent abroad repeatedly as a delega 
to the International Labour Office, SUZUKI paid lip-service t 
peasant reform, but was fearful of militant peasant action. Tl 
centrist group excused the invasion of Manchuria as a necessai 
move for the alleviation of the peasants' problems. 

The left-wing All-Japan Peasants' Union Conference (enkol 
Nomin Kaigi) claimed a membership of 60,000 in the mid-'thirtie 
but admitted to limited influence, largely because of the cloi 
police surveillance under which it operated. Its ultimate pr< 
gramme called for State ownership of the land with cultivatic 
under the direction of committees elected by the peasants. I 
immediate programme called for reductions in rents, taxes ar 
costs of farmers' necessities, cancellation of a substantial part 
the rural debt, security of tenure for tenants, distribution 
Government rice stocks to the starving and construction of in 
proved irrigation works at Government expense. 

Water to irrigate the rice-fields in the hot summer montl 
was so scarce that peasants armed with stones, bamboo pik 
and implements frequently fought over the division of the watc 
In Saitama Prefecture some 3000 peasants fought each oth 
until some 200 police stopped the battle. 

The left-wing tenant unions attempted to divert this internccii 
struggle into more effective channels. An appeal to the peasan 
in Scarlet Banner (Akahata) indicates the approach they used : 

There is no sense, brothers, in fighting each other abo 
water. We must make it clear who is the real enemy. . . 
We have always suffered from a water shortage. The wat 
problem would be quite easy to solve if we had the mon< 
to build a dam, to drain tnc underground waters, and 
build large basins and reservoirs. We know exactly wh 
needs to be done but we have no money to do it, oecau 
we are exploited by the Emperor, the landlords and tl 
capitalists. Let all these people hand over the money whi< 
provides them with sweet food and rich clothing and let 
be used to build dams and canals! Brothers! Cease fooli 
fratricidal strife over a drop of water ; turn your blows again 

landlords, officials and capitalists (the local electric companies 
for example) and demand that they all bear their share of 
the expenses for the improvement of the irrigation system. 

This type of propaganda had a certain amount of influence. 
In a village in Chiba Prefecture in 1934 about 400 peasants 
armed with shovels and hoes clashed with the police while 
demonstrating against the failure of the authorities to construct 
adequate irrigation works. In the city of Kumamoto 600 
peasants forced their way into the governor's office early in 
August of the same year, and were dispersed by the police only 
after blood had been shed. 

In addition to jailing the instigators and organizers of many 
of these protests, some slight attempts were made to prevent 
such developments by ameliorating conditions. The landowners, 
working through organizations like the Imperial Agricultural 
Society, brought pressure on the Government to make heavier 
purchases of rice and to control the import of cheaper Korean 
and Formosan rice, so as to boost the price of Japanese rice. 
They were also able to have the land tax reduced and loans 
made somewhat more available through extending the activities 
of the rural co-operative. 

But none of these measures touched the basic problems or 
affected a marked improvement in the living conditions of the 
millions that tilled the soil. 


The militarists could not and did not ignore the mounting 
agrarian crisis. A large number of the young officers came from 
the ranks of the middle and petty landlords whose profits were 
drastically cut by the fall in agricultural prices and the refusal 
of the organized tenants to pay increased rents in kind. Further- 
more, the majority of the Japanese soldiers were from tenant or 
peasant proprietor families and the increasing ruin of the peasan- 
try and the consequent growth of agrarian discontent threatened 
to create difficulties in the army and its reservist organizations. 
The problem was posed most sharply in the summer of 1932, 
when a fall in the price of silk coincided with a crop failure, 
famine hi the northern prefectures and the return to the villages 
of additional unemployed workers forced out of the cities by the 
industrial crisis. The countryside became a cauldron of simmer- 
ing discontent threatening to explode in agrarian revolts on an 
unprecedented scale. 

raced with this problem, the militarist leaders adopted an 
* (D.I.J.) i9 

amazingly successful strategy of social demagogy. They de- 
flected the tremendous pressure of social discontent from a 
movement of internal revolt to mass support of the militarists' 
plans for external aggression. Their strategy had "two aspects, 
one negative, the other positive. First they attempted to make 
sure that the social unrest would not find any radical outlet by 
augmenting the terror against the organizers of the tenants' 

At the same time they harnessed the power of the reservoir of 
discontent for their own ends of military aggression. They 
posed as the only friends of the agrarian sufferers, and in order 
to demonstrate their interest even launched genuine-sounding 
nation-wide petition campaigns to alleviate rural misery. Then 
they inaugurated a campaign of tremendous proportions to lead 
agrarian unrest into aggressive channels. They preached that 
the problem of the peasant could only be solved through external 
expansion. They declared that their invasion of Manchuria 
was only a means of getting land for the poor crowded Japanese 
peasant. They declared that they had been forced into this 
attack because of the * 'oppression of European imperialism", 
which would not permit Japanese farmers to emigrate. For 
example, they told the peasants that the Japanese Government 
had tried to lease large tracts of unoccupied lands in Australia, 
but had been refused, and that the attack on Manchuria was the 
only alternative. This material motive, combined with the 
idealistic motive of "spreading the Emperor's August Domain", 
swayed a large portion of the unsophisticated peasants. 

One of the reasons the militarists were so successful in winning 
over the peasantry was their control over so many of the in- 
fluences reaching the rural village. They reached the rural 
children through the school-teachers, who had been heavily 
and specially indoctrinated with the militarist viewpoint during 
their period of military service. The young peasant was subjected 
to an even heavier barrage during his period of military training, 
in an attempt to convince him mat his problems could only be 
solved through the conquest and exploitation of other lands. 
And when he had completed his service, the Society of Reservists 
and the other army-dominated jingoist and chauvinist organiza- 
tions continued to develop the same themes. It is little wonder 
thai; some of the most rabid young officers have come from this 
class and that peasant soldiers have showed a brutal impatience 
with the conquered people of the "Go-Prosperity Sphere". 

The military fascist Putsch of May 15, 1932, the purpose of 
which was to accelerate the drive to complete fascism and all-out 

war, provided one of the best examples of agrarian demagogy. 
The civilian participants in this Putsch were recruited in large 
part from graduates of the Native-Land-Loving School of 
Kosaburo Tachibana, an agrarian fanatic closely connected with 
the young officers' movement. One of the leaflets distributed in 
Tokyo clamoured: "Kill the capitalists, punish the arbitrary 
authorities, kill the sly landowners and me special privileged 
class. Peasants, workers and the whole nation, defend yourselves 
and guard your fatherland.'* During their subsequent trial, in 
which the assassins were handled very gently by the authorities, 
one of the participants cried out: "The future in store for the 
children of rural families is nothing but slavish apprenticeship 
for the boys, and for the girls lives as factory workers, maid- 
servants, or abandoned waitresses". Tachibana explained his 
reason for becoming a leader in the movement in the following 
way: "Producing rice for the nation, the farmers were unable 
to obtain food for themselves. . . . The politicians and financiers 
have strayed from the spirit of patriotic brotherhood which is 
the fundamental characteristic of our nation. I felt the need of 
awakening them and we acted with that motive. . . . The 
farmers were in a state of slavery and neither of the political 
parties helped them. At this moment the young officers stretched 
out a hand to us to stand up for better conditions." 

After the February 26 mutiny of 1936 apologists insisted that 
the young officers involved were of poor agrarian families, 
striking back against the oppressors of tiieir class. Investigation 
revealed that among fourteen of the leaders, four were the sons 
of generals, one the son of a rear-admiral, one the son of a 
colonel, two others the sons of a lieutenant and a sergeant-major. 
Of the remainder, only one was the son of a farmer. One other, 
was the son of a town mayor and therefore probably from a 
relatively well-to-do agrarian family. 


Although foreign conquest was held out as a panacea for the 
agrarian crisis, the peasantry was destined to be severely dis- 
appointed by the results of %var. There were some slight and 
fleeting advantages at various stages. In the mid-'thirties the 
renewed demand for male labour in the growing munitions 
industries and for female workers in the textile plants removed 
some of the pressure of population in the rural areas. As rationing 
grew tighter after 1937 some of the peasants in the areas around 
the large cities were able to make illicit profits selling products 
on the black market. 

But the general impact of war produced a steady deterioration 
in the position of the peasantry. The ever-increasing man- 
power demands of the military were a particularly heavy burden 
because Japanese agriculture is almost entirely dependent on 
hand labour. Production was made still more difficult with the 
partial conversion of the ammonium sulphate industry into 
munitions production, with the subsequent cut in the supply of 
artificial fertilizer. The conditions of the tenants and part- 
owners were already deteriorating on the eve of the attack on 
Pearl Harbour because rents in kind were rising while pro- 
ductivity fell. In order to allay agrarian discontent, and thus 
maintain the morale of an army composed so largely of peasants, 
the Government instituted a number of measures. Preference 
was given the families of soldiers in purchasing Government- 
owned rice. Slight financial assistance was given to help settle 
debts or keep the soldiers' families in their agrarian status. 
When the shipping shortage made the food situation particularly 
precarious, the authorities made strenuous efforts to supplement 
the inadequate man-power available on the farms with the 
labour of school-children. In the early part of 1945 it was de- 
cided to discontinue almost all education as a means of supplying 
the required labour power. 

Despite these evidences of concern about agricultural pro- 
duction, the authorities showed a cold hostility to any suggestion 
of really aiding the working farmer. This was demonstrated most 
conclusively in the Diet discussions of January 1944. On January 
26, 27 and 31 several Diet members suggested drastic reforms 
to improve the position of the tenant and thus increase pro- 
duction. Representative Ichio Sassai declared that farms owned 
and operated by the tenants themselves would produce more of 
the desperately needed foodstuffs. Representative Rikizo Hirano 
asked whether the Government would not liberalize its loan 
regulations to enable tenants to become peasant proprietors. 
The answers of Minister of Agriculture Yamazaki were cate- 
gorical. He declared that the increase of individual farm owner- 
ship at that time would upset the "interdependent character of 
the existing system" and that there was absolutely no chance of 
the Government aiding such a development. 


The agrarian crisis has not only found no alleviation through 
war, but is intensified tremendously by the impact of defeat. 
The basic problems remain the same: parasitic landlords 
exacting semi-feudal rents and usurious interest from a dis- 

contented but inarticulate peasantry. As before, this semi- 
feudal system serves as an obstacle to the development of an 
internal market and a peaceful economy, and instead acts as a 
source for chauvinism and aggressive trends in foreign policy. 

Try as we might, the agrarian crisis cannot be ignored by the 
victors. There can be little doubt that the remaining cadres of 
military fascism will attempt to dig themselves underground in 
the rural areas and utilize peasant discontent as the mass basis 
for their resurgence. There can be no hope for a stable democracy 
or a peaceful economy if the peasantry remain in their impover- 
ished and discontented plight. 

It would be the height of foolishness to suggest that the occupa- 
tion authorities can by themselves permanently democratize or 
modernize Japanese agriculture. The main burden of the final 
solution of their fundamental agricultural problems must rest 
upon the Japanese themselves. It is possible, however, for the 
occupying authorities to expedite these developments by en- 
couraging and facilitating such measures and all other actions 
undertaken by the Japanese to assure the cultivator an adequate 
return for his produce. 

Furthermore, during the period of military government the 
occupation authorities can themselves institute certain direct 
measures which will facilitate the solution of the agrarian crisis. 
We can encourage bona-fide organizations representing the 
peasant owners and tenants. In the interest ol peace in the 
countryside, and as a means of depriving the military fascist 
demagogues of a breeding-ground, the seizure of agricultural 
land for the non-payment of taxes or rent should be suspended 
for the period of military occupation. In the interest of increased 
production and self-sufficiency we can and should lower the 
land tax on owner-cultivated land and proclaim a corresponding 
reduction in farm rentals. All these actions are possible under 
the broad powers of the occupying authorities. The extent to ' 
which these initial reforms are carried forward and made per- 
manent will depend to a considerable degree on how far we go 
to encourage and facilitate the emergence of a democratic 
government and peasant unions representative of the basic needs 
of those who till the soil. 

Such actions are not a matter of humanitarianism, but 
simply constitute enlightened selfishness on our part, an effort 
to eliminate one of the basic causes of aggression in the past. 
The sponsorship of such measures would be a devastating blow 
to three-quarters of a century of pro-militarist anti-foreign 
agitation among the peasantry. The world over tenant* and 


impoverished peasant proprietors turn towards those who help 
alleviate their condition. The militarists have recognized this and 
pretended to be the only allies of the peasants. But they have 
not delivered on their promises. If the United Nations prove 
themselves to be better friends of the peasant than the mili- 
tarists, we may anticipate with confidence a gigantic reversal in 
the attitude of the peasantry. 

The U.S.S.R. has demonstrated the effectiveness of such 
measures in the countries on its western borders. It is particularly 
interesting to note results in Poland, Rumania and Hungary, 
where the peasants are Roman Catholics and until recently were 
anti-Russian. As in Japan, the key economic problem of these 
East European countries was a semi-feudal agriculture with 
masses of tenants and poor peasants living on the edge of starva- 
tion. The Russians recognized this, and encouraged the estab- 
lishment of regimes which advocated peasant reforms. These 
reforms did not entail collectivization or anything approximating 
socialism, but rather the destruction of the survivals of feudalism. 
The large estates were divided among the landless tenants and 
small peasants. The land was acquired as private property, with 
payment spread over a number of years. Almost overnight the 
Balkan peasants, who had been converted into rural capitalists, 
became friendly to the socialist U.S.S.R., because it had helped 
them secure land. At the same time they became increasingly 
suspicious of the Western Powers who were friendly to the old 
regimes of large, semi-feudal landowners. 

It is clear, therefore, that the agrarian situation in Japan is 
a problem and a challenge. If the problem is not solved, the 
remnants of militarism will benefit. If a democratic regime is 
able to carry through agrarian reforms, it will win for itself 
millions of rural supporters. If the victorious Powers assist in 
these reforms, they will not only vastly increase the chance for 
democracy and peace, but will earn for themselves a wealth of 
friendly feeling on the part of the rural half of Japan. 



IN THE winter of 1943-1944 General Juzo Nishio, military 
governor of the Tokyo area, declared: "We know there are 
workers in our country who think only of their own interests and 

seek a return to conditions of free labour. Such people deserve 
death. 5 * 

The verdict of death which General Nishio sought to impose on 
labourers striving for freedom is not new. For the past half- 
century the militarists have regarded the labour movement as a 
mortal enemy to be harassed with relentless police terror and 
government suppression. 

Ever since the 1890*5 the trade unionists have consistently 
found their attempts to secure an improved livelihood blocked 
not only by greedy industrialists, but also by arny lexers. The 
latter have been interested in keeping the workers* share of 
national production to a minimum, in order to devote the largest 
possible share of national production to war goods or to exports 
which would make it possible to acquire war goods abroad. 
Furthermore, the army leaders have seen, in the attempts of the 
trade unionists to extend democratic liberties, and to achieve an 
essential human dignity, a threat to the militarist regimentation 
of the nation behind aggressive adventures. It is no wonder that 
labour and militarism have been iorked in a death struggle. And 
it is no wonder that the trade unions have been amonjj the most 
consistent and best organized of the Japanese anti-militarists. 

In this unequal struggle the militarists and their Daihatsu allies 
have, of course, had all the tactical advantages. As their control 
of Japan has grown lighter, the relentless onslaught of police 
terror against the unions has been intensified. Despite this, the 
underground labour movement has persisted in its anti-militarist 
activities right through the Pacific war; and through the media 
of strikes, sabotage and slowdowns it has made a small but direct 
contribution to Japan's defeat. The complete story is yet to be 
told, but what has already leaked out gives rise to hope that 
among Japanese workers excellent human material for a new 
and democratic Japan may be found. 


The labour movement emerged in the wake of the Sino- 
Japanese War of 1894-1895, which greatly stimulated the coun- 
try's industrial growth. Japan's trade-union movement, like its 
industrialization, was late in starting, and had to learn from 
foreign experience. The first major step in modern labour organ- 
ization was the formation of the Society for the Promotion of 
Trade Unions in the summer of 1897 by a number of workers 
who had studied the organization of labour in the United States 
at first hand. The first trade union, the Iron Workers' Union, 
which was organized in December 1897 with over 1000 members, 


had a constitution and bylaws copied from those of American 
trade unions. This was due largely to the influence of its secretary, 
Sen Katayama, who had just returned from a twelve-year stay 
in the United States, where he had worked his way through 
courses at Grinnell College, Andover and Yale. 

At about the same time, the first issue of the Labor World, a 
monthly labour magazine edited by Katayama, was published. 
The following quotation from the magazine indicates its mis- 
sion : 

The people are silent. I will be the advocate of this silence. 
I will speak for the dumb ; I will speak for the despairing silent 
ones; 1 will interpret their stammerings; I will interpret the 
grumblings, murmurings, the tumults of the crowds, trie com- 
plaints, the cries of men who have been so degraded by suffering 
and ignorance that they have no strength to voice their wrongs. 
I will be the word of the people. I wfll be the bleeding mouth 
from which the gag has been snatched. I will say everything. 

In the next two years additional unions were organized, 
spurred by a successful strike in the Nippon Railway Company, 
trie largest railroad in Japan, and by examples of extreme cruelty 
and neglect on the part of employers. At a colliery in Kyushu 
over 200 miners were buried alive and permitted to burn to 
death in order to save the mining properties. Shortly thereafter 
thirty-one young girls burned to death in the dormitory of a 
spinning company. They were young peasant girls serving their 
periods of indentured servitude, and were locked in at night with 
the doors and windows fastened on the outside to prevent them 
from escaping. When the fire broke out in the middle of the night 
they were unable to escape, and all were maimed or killed. 

Alarmed by the flurry of labour activity, the Diet sounded the 
death-knell for the young struggling unions by passing the 
"Public Peace Police Law" in 1900. It was declared a crime, 
punishable by imprisonment at hard labour, to enlist others in a 
movement to raise wages, shorten hours of labour or lower land 


This blow forced the dissolution of the infant unions and had 
the effect of turning the labour movement's efforts into the 
political field. While the police clamped down on discussion of 
strikes, boycotts or trade unions, they were more lenient at first 
in permitting expression on labour politics, socialism and the like, 
apparently on the assumption that theories of a better future 
world were less dangerous than organizing to improve the exist- 

ing one. Labour leaders took full advantage of this opportunity 
for political activity because they recognized^ that labour could 
make no permanent headway in Japan until the autocratic 
Government was liberalized and labour permitted to express itself 
through the ballot and legal trade-union organizations. They 
helped form a Universal Suffrage Association which tried unsuc- 
cessfully to extend the franchise. 

In its early stages labour politics in Japan represented the con- 
fluence of two streams: Japanese liberalism and international 

From its origin the laboic* movement regarded itself as the heir 
of the liberal movement of the 1 88o's in the struggle for wider 
liberties, universal suffrage and women's rights. A labour news- 
paper declared in 1908: The Meiji liberals have bequeathed to 
us as unfinished business the championing of these rights. Accord- 
ingly, the winning of these liberties is the responsibility which 
has fallen upon our shoulders." The labour movement also in- 
herited some of the leading personalities of the left wing of the 
Liberal Party, for example Kantaro Oi, who after the demise of 
the Liberal Party established several periodicals favouring labour's 
cause. Shosui Kotoku, a former active liberal who turned socialist 
and who was later to pay with his life for his beliefs, expressed his 
feelings as follows: Now that liberalism has been dead and 
buried, the Liberal Party of the past, which struggled on behalf of 
liberty and equality, which fought for culture and progress with 
such gallantry and high spirit, can only maintain its old traditions 
through socialists. We alone can continue to put up a fight for 
freedom, equality and culture." 

The younger generation of labour progressives who returned 
after gaining experience in the American labour movement 
brought back with them to Japan the socialist ideas of Eugene V. 
Debs and the English translations of Ferdinand Lassalle, Karl 
Marx and Fricdrich Engels. When the police prevented them 
from organizing labour unions they turned to writing and 
lecturing on socialism. 

The labour and socialist movements took organized form in 
IQOI in the Social Democratic Party. Sen Katayama, Shosui 
Kotoku and Dr. Iso Abe, who introduced baseball into Japan and 
was later to become the leader of the Social Mass Party, were 
among the founders. Like the German Social Democrats, whose 
lead they followed, they adopted both an ultimate and an imme- 
diate programme. The ultimate programme called for inter- 
national disarmament, abolition of class distinctions, public 
ownership of the means of production, equalization of the dit- 
* 37 

tribution of wealth and universal education at the expense of the 
State. Their immediate demands were for an eight-hour day and 
a six-day week, universal suffrage, freedom of speech and Press, 
abolition of night work by adolescents and protection for the 
peasants. On the very day the Declaration of the Social Democratic 
Party was published, the Minister of Home Affairs summoned 
Katayama and another leader to his office and commanded them 
to dissolve the party. In addition, the authorities confiscated the 
printed copies of the declaration and prohibited the circulation 
of the Torozu, the Mainichi and two other daily papers which had 
published it. 

The founders of the short-lived Social Democratic Party then 
founded an educational, non-political organization : the Socialist 
Association (Shakai Shugi Kyokai). Later, when the Katsura 
Cabinet succeeded the one which had banned their party, the 
Socialists applied to the authorities for permission to revive the 
party under the title of the Japanese Commoners' Party, but 
they were bluntly rejected. 

The bulk of their educational work was carried on by means 
of lectures to working-class audiences. The largest and most 
momentous meeting was one held in April 1901 in Tokyo's 
Mukoshima Park. It was under the sponsorship of the Niroku 
Shimpo, a daily newspaper whose owner was a personal friend of 
Sen Katayama. Some 50,000 workers bought tickets of admission 
in advance. The police, alarmed at the dimensions of the gather- 
ing, first ordered the newspaper to give up the meeting, and then 
declared they would permit a crowd of not more than 5000. They 
set this limit because they could muster that many policemen and 
did not want to have the crowd more numerous than the police. 
The sponsors foiled this limitation by announcing that the 5000 
would be admitted on the basis of first come, first served. When 
the morning of the day arrived, more than the allotted number 
were already there, having remained in the park all night. When 
the meeting opened there were over 30,000 present. The police 
were powerless. The assembly voted a resolution demanding 
improved factory conditions and universal suffrage. The Govern- 
ment thereupon decided that it never again would permit a mass 
assembly of workers. 

The years 1902 and 1903 were the most fertile period for the 
labour and socialist movements. For a brief period Labour World 
was able to appear as a daily newspaper. There was a great 
increase in labour literature. A life of the German Socialist 
Ferdinand Lassalle was published, as well as a translation of 
Labour by Emile Zola. An indigenous literature also made its 

appearance. Fumio Yano, a widely known liberal political figure 
and writer, became a convert to socialism and wrote N*w Society 
(Shin Skakai), showing how Japan could make the transition to 
socialism. Several thousand copies were sold in a few months. 
This was followed by the socialist novel Fire Pillar, by Naoe 
Kinoshita, which sold out ten editions in a few months and was 
frequently compared to Jack London's Iron HeeL 


The small but growing labour and socialist movements met 
their first great test on the subject of internationalism and peace 
with the approach of the Russo-Japanese War. A decade later 
the powerful German Social-Democratic Party, which in theory 
was just as anti-war and international-minded as its struggling 
Japanese counterpart, was to support the Kaiser and Prussian 
militarism in World War I. But me Japanese labourites stood by 
their principles and incurred the undying enmity of the mili- 
tarists and jingoists in their country. 

As early as October 1903, when the strain in Russo-Japanese 
relations became evident, a well-attended anti-war meeting was 
held by the Socialists at the Y.M.C.A. Hall in Tokyo. Two 
Socialists, Shosui Kotoku and Toshihiko Sakai, gave up their 
editorial positions on the popular daily Yorozu because it became 
ultra-jingoistic. They founded a weekly of their own, Heimin 
Shimbun (the Common People's Paper), which from its inception 
fought Japan's drift to war. 

When tne war finally broke out in 1904, the Japanese Socialists 
gathered in Tokyo and sent a manifesto to the Russian Social 
Democrats declaring that their two nations had been plunged 
into war by the "militarists" and "imperialistic desires" of both 
Governments, but that the Socialists of both countries were 
bound together by common aims which recognized "no barrier 
of race, territory or nationality". 
ZrAra, then edited by Lenin, commented : 

This manifesto is a document of historic significance. If we 
Russian Social Democrats know only too well with what diffi- 
culties we are confronted in time of war, ... we must bear in 
mind that far more difficult and embarrassing is the position of 
our Japanese comrades, who, at the moment when national 
feeling was at its highest pitch, extended their hands to us. 
The International Congress 'of Socialists was held at Amster- 
dam in August 1904, and Sen Katayama, who was then on a tour 
of the United States and Europe, was appointed as the repre* 


sentative of the Japanese Socialists. At Amsterdam he and 
George Plekhanov, the Russian Social Democrat, were appointed 
Vice-rresidents of the Congress, and after the opening address 
they both appeared on the rostrum, shook hands warmly, and 
addressed the audience to give voice to their joint opposition to 
the militarism of the Russian and Japanese autocracies. 

Within Japan the Socialists continued their opposition to the 
war despite continuous harassing by the police. The Heimin con- 
tinued to criticize the war and all its hardships. For this and 
other acts "opposing the imperial constitution" the editors were 
brought to trial and imprisoned, the weekly suppressed and the 
printing-presses confiscated. An attempt was made to replace it 
with another weekly, Chokugen (Plain Speaking), but confiscation 
of issues, frequent trials and imprisonment of editors made work 
extremely difficult. Finally it was suspended altogether by the 
Government in September 1905. Two months later the educa- 
tional Socialist Association was forcibly dissolved. 


The political atmosphere was somewhat less oppressive under 
the Saionji ministry, and it became possible to establish the 
Socialist Party in February 1906, with Sen Katayama and Toshi- 
hiko Sakai as two of its leaders. At the suggestion of Katayama, 
and as a means of protecting its legality, the first clause in its 
constitution read : "We advocate socialism within the law". The 
party got off to a rather successful start by organizing demonstra- 
tions in Tokyo against a projected increase in the trolley fares. A 
meeting of 10,000 was held in Hibiya Park in Tokyo, and after- 
wards the excited crowds attacked the cars and the offices of the 
company. As a result of this agitation the proposed fare increase 
was withdrawn. 

The police estimated the number of "Socialists" in Japan as 
about 25,000, but this was probably an attempt on their part to 
get added appropriations for the police forces, and at any rate 
represented the great majority of inactive socialist sympathizers 
rather than active and organized party members. But whatever 
potential the Socialist Party might have had at this time was 
almost entirely dissipated in a bitter factional fight between the 
followers of Katayama and Kotoku. 

Katayama, although a Marxian Socialist, felt that the labour 
movement was weak in numbers and organization, and therefore 
it was necessary to utilize all the legal opportunities available to 
strengthen the organization and deepen the understanding of the 
industrial workers. He thought it important to avoid giving the 

Government unnecessary reason for suppressing the labour and 
socialist movements. He continued to travel around the country 
lecturing to labouring audiences. Although the police did not 
permit Turn to mention words like "strike", "labour union", 
boycott", "socialism", he did manage to express his ideas in a 
roundabout way and to include considerable propaganda in favour 
of universal suffrage and to retain his contacts with the workers. 

Kotoku, on the other hand, was a syndicalist, or believer in 
"direct action", partly as a result of having been influenced by 
the I.W.W. when he was in the United States. He minimized the 
agitation for universal suffrage and dependence on political action 
in general. The few reforms passed by parliaments in the interest 
of labour were nullified in effect by hostile or corrupt judges. 
Real reform, Kotoku claimed, could be obtained only in one way, 
directly by the working-men from the capitalists, not indirectly 
through Acts of Parliament. "Direct action" was therefore the 
only logical policy for labour, and it should give its whole time to 
preparation for general strikes and other revolutionary weapons. 

The policy of moderation advocated by Katayama and the 
syndicalist policy of Kotoku came into conflict in the first anniver- 
sary meeting of the Socialist Party held in February 1907. 
Although universal suffrage was supported, Kotoku's policies 
predominated, and the clause "socialism within the law" was 
stricken from the constitution. A resolution openly advocated a 
fundamental change of the existing society, and opposition to 
religion. The Government thereupon suppressed tnc Socialist 

Kotoku's influence was paramount in the Heimin, which was 
being published daily at that time. It was very forceful and very 
radical. One article, for example, was entitled "Kick Your 
Mother and Father". The Heimin was crippled with repeated 
censorship, fines and imprisonment of staff members, and was 
finally suppressed in March 1907. 

With the party dissolved and their common journal suppressed 
the two groups drifted apart. Katayama edited the Socialist News 
(Shakai Shimbun), while Kotoku contributed to the Osaka Heimin. 
Factionalism degenerated into bitter animosity between the two 
groups and they spent their time arguing doctrine rather than 

Of the two socialist groups, the police were naturally most 
afraid of Kotoku's direct actionists, because under the conditions 
of extreme exploitation prevalent in Japan's factories and mines 
there was constant danger of violent explosion, and the syndi- 
calists might strike the spark to cause a conflagration. 

During this period two such explosive incidents took place in 
the copper-mines, where exploitation was particularly brutal. 
The first came in the Ashio mines. Organization had been 
started there by one Nagaoka, a veteran labour leader. He went 
to work as a common miner, but achieved a leading position 
among the miners, and quit to publish a little paper called 
"Friend of the Miners" and organize a secret labour organization 
under the fake title "Society of Sincere Persons". In February 
1906 a group of miners came into conflict with the management 
over wages, and a riot broke out. Nagaoka tried to pacify the 
miners, but was arrested by the police at the instigation of the 
mine-owners. This infuriated the miners, and they started a 
three-day riot of destruction which took a toll of 2,000,000 dollars' 
worth of company property. As a result the labour organization 
was thoroughly destroyed, and the leaders and members of the 
Society of Sincere Persons dismissed. 

A little over a year later, in the Besshi copper-mines on the 
island of Shikoku, leaders of the miners who asked for 30 per cent 
wage increases and other demands were dismissed and roughly 
handled by the company's officers. Conditions at these mines 
were particularly bad. Wages had been reduced the previous 
year, and miners had often been forced to work at pistol point. 
Enraged by this final provocation, about 200 miners got very 
indignant, seized explosives and started to destroy every building 
except the school, hospital and the miners' dwellings. The 
rioters increased in numbers, and during the six-day riot 15,000 
miners participated. The local police force proved inadequate 
and national troops were called in. Many of the rioters were 
jailed, but many of their demands were met. 

With such explosive potentialities in the labour situation, the 
police were very anxious to use every opportunity to keep the 
syndicalists out of the picture. One such opportunity presented 
itself in the "Red Flag Riot". In June 1908 the Katayama 
Socialists and the Kotoku syndicalists held a joint meeting to 
honour a co-worker who had just been released from prison. At 
the conclusion of the meeting the syndicalists hoisted red flap in 
the street and sang a revolutionary song, "The Chain of W r ealth". 
Suddenly the police appeared on the scene and arrested fourteen 
of the participants, imprisoning ten of them for from one to 
two-and-a-half years. 


The final crushing blow to the syndicalists and the socialist 
movement as a whole came two years later in 1910, when the 

Government, using the name of the Emperor, performed an act 
of rank injustice. Without presenting a shred of evidence to the 
public, they arrested and tried in camera Kotoku and twenty-three 
others on a charge of conspiring against the Emperor's life. 
Kotoku and eleven others were condemned to death and strangled 
three days later, although a murderer was customarily given sixty 
days in prison before execution. Criticism of the trial was made 

By painting the syndicalists as terrorists and would-be assassins 
of the Emperor, the Government succeded in turning the country 
against all Socialists. (It is said that a robber at Yamanashi 
prison committed suicide because his cellmate insulted him by 
calling him a Socialist.) 

The Government then proceeded to act against the moderate 
Socialists. A few months after the trial Katayama's Socialist News 
-was harassed into extinction by the authorities. All books on 
socialism were confiscated. Katayama himself was imprisoned 
for nine months for his association with a streetcar strike in 
Tokyo in 1912. After his release detectives dogged his every step; 
he was forced to leave Japan and come to the United States, 
where he resumed publication of the Heimin in New York. Even 
in the United States Japanese consuls and detectives hired by 
them made every effort to hamper his activities. His friends in 
this country were intimidated. One was actually kidnapped, sent 
to Japan and imprisoned for eighteen months. 


The period that ensued was one of bleak reaction. The young 
labour movement was decapitated and disorganized, and its 
fighting spirit seemed to have disappeared forever. 

Against this background Bunji Suzuki, who had spent some 
time in the United States and was a friend of Samuel Gpmpers, 
organized in 1912 the innocuous Fraternal Society (Tuaikat). It 
was supported by Baron Shibusawa, an important financier, and 
was in some ways a Christian reform movement, having begun 
with fourteen members of the congregation of Suzuki's Unitarian 
Church. Because its form of organization was that of a fraternal 
society seeking labour-management harmony, it escaped the rigid 
suppression of the law. It was the only legal organization and it 
sheltered some devoted labour fighters in its ranks. 

The Fraternal Society was not able to agitate for any reforms. 
However, protected by its legality, it became the only possible 
means through which labour leaders and the active rank and file 
were able to retain any contact with the defunct movement* As 


early as 1913, a young man named Tctsuo Nosaka was an active 
collaborator of Bunji Suzuki. Later he became the well-known 
Communist leader, Susumu Okano. Aided by funds contributed 
by philanthropists and the active work of young enthusiasts of all 
political shades, the Fraternal Society grew to 27,000 members in 
six years, with locals in Manchuria and Hokkaido. 


World War I gave the labour movement its great impetus. 
Industries grew rich and powerful and hungry for labour. Be- 
tween 1914 and 1919 the number of workers in factories and 
mines doubled from 1,125,000 to 2,242,000. Prices doubled be- 
tween 1914 and 1918, but wages rose only half as fast. The 
luxuries of the newly rich, the narikip, contrasted bitterly with the 
hard times of the workers. Strikes mounted rapidly from fifty in 
1914 with 8000 participants to 497 with 66,000 participants in- 
1918. Japanese workers learned of the Russian Revolution and 
became more confident of their own powers. 

Labour emerged as a serious factor with the Rice Riots of 
1918, the greatest revolt of the Japanese people in this century. 
To the widespread popular protest against the exorbitant price of 
rice a member of the Terauchi ministry replied : "It is high time 
the people limited the consumption of rice through self-control". 
In August 1918 a raid by fishwives on a rice-dealer's store in a 
village on the Japan Sea provided the spark. In Kobe rioters 
attacked rice stores, set fire to newspaper establishments, wrecked 
the homes of wealthy officials and finally advanced on the police- 
stations. In other cities and towns mobs of starving men, women 
and children broke into the town halls demanding the distribu- 
tion of hoarded rice. Troops were called in to quell the disturb- 
ances. More than ninety civilians were killed, over 7000 arrested 
and a number incarcerated for life. 

While the Rice Riots were a mass national uprising, participated 
in by peasants, merchants and students, the city workers provided 
the core. Feeling was so high that the Government felt it necessary 
to make concessions. The Police Law of 1 900 was "reinterpreted" 
and discovered to mean that there would be no interference with 
"a wholesome development of labour unions", nor with strikes. 

A rash of strikes ensued. Most disturbing to the authorities 
were strikes in three military arsenals, another among Govern- 
ment employees and a soldiers' mutiny. Strikes took new forms 
because the new unions had no money tor strike benefit payments 
and the ill-paid workmen could not afford to lay off, unpaid, for 
long periods of time. Dock-workers whose demands for an eight- 

hour day and higher wages were refused reported to work as 
usual, went through all the customary motions but accomplished 
no work of importance. After a week they won their demands. 
Some months later the Tokyo trolley-men managed to win their 
demands by repeatedly tying up traffic, leaving would-be pas- 
sengers futilely waiting at trolley stops and damaging an extra- 
ordinary number of cars. 

The Communists and Anarchists leapt to the helm of the 
mushrooming trade unions, and until 1923 almost completely 
dominated them. The Communists emphasized political action 
to achieve socialist reconstruction and for a period advocated 
universal suffrage. The most important union in the Communist 
camp was the Fraternal Society, which had turned left after 1917. 
The name was changed to "the Japanese Federation of Labour", 
and Bunji Suzuki was relegated to an honorary post. Its pro- 
gramme called for freedom of trade-union activity, a minimum- 
wage law, an eight-hour day, social insurance, an end to com- 
pulsory night shifts, universal suffrage, equal pay for women, and 
equal pay for Koreans and Chinese. The Anarchists, on the other 
hand, believed that all that was necessary to achieve their aims 
was the overthrow of the economic system through strikes and 
that political action was unnecessary. 

The labour movement failed to make the startling advances 
anticipated; rather it suffered a recession. Total membership 
decreased from over 250,000 in the autumn of 1919 to 100,000 in 
March 1920. While in 1918 most of the strikes were successful, by 
1921 most of them ended in complete failures. The reason was 
simple. After 1919 business dropped off and when men were dis- 
missed, in almost every case, of course, the more active unionists 
were the first to go. The unions were weakened by loss of dues- 
paying members, while the employers had a tremendous pool of 
unemployed workers from which to select the most tractable. As 
unemployment undermined the people's new-found confidence 
and strength the police felt less compelled to make any concessions, 
an'd resumed their uninhibited methods. 

In 1923 the left wing of the labour movement was greatly 
weakened by the elimination of a number of its leaders. The 
Communists, who had never been permitted to organize a legal 
party, had organized secretly in 1922 and met in March 1923 to 
draw up a platform. The police discovered the names of the 
thirty delegates who attended the latter meeting and arrested 
them in June. Included among those arrested were Susumu 
Okano, Toshihiko Sakai and other leaders of the Communist 
wing of the labour movement. 


Under cover of the great earthquake of September 1923 there 
was a general police round-up. At that time 700 men, of whom 
about 1 20 were radicals, were jammed into prison, six to a cell, 
on charges of "improper speech and behaviour, singing revolu- 
tionary songs and setting afloat wild rumours". Nine of the Com* 
munist labour leaders arrested were stabbed to death in jail and 
their corpses secretly burned. News of the murder was suppressed 
for thirty-seven days after the event, and no punishment of any 
sort ever seems to have been inflicted on the guilty parties. Two 
weeks after the earthquake, moreover, Sakae Osugi, the intel- 
lectual leader of the Anarchists, his mistress and nephew were 
strangled in a Tokyo jail cell by a gendarmerie captain. 

The decimation of leaders and the wave of unemployment in 
the wake of the earthquake enabled the rightists, with Govern- 
ment help, to regain control of the Japanese Federation of Labour. 
Bunji Suzuki, "the Gompers of Japan", again emerged as its 
leader. The Federation expelled the left-wing unions, which 
comprised a third of its membership. The latter then established 
an organization of their own, the Japanese Trade Union Council 
(Nippon Rodo Kumiai Hyogikai). 


In 1925 universal manhood suffrage was granted in Japan in an 
attempt to siphon of! labour and peasant discontent into the 
carefully controlled parliamentary system. The Diet had no real 
power and the major parties were Zaibatsu-controlled. Despite 
these limitations, the reform made voting possible for 13,000,000 
persons instead of only 2,800,000, and many in the labour move- 
ment felt that it offered the possibility of working towards a solu- 
tion to some of the problems which the weak and ineffective 
unions had been unable to solve. But here again police repression 
beat back the attempts of labour to express its needs. New and 
more severe "dangerous thoughts" legislation was passed at the 
same time, granting the police wide freedom of action to render 
the leftist organizations impotent and neutralize any influence 
they might exert on the elections. 

In the autumn of 1925 the Peasants' Union, the conservative 
Federation of Labour and ten independent unions drew up a 
platform for a Farmer-Labour Party which was announced on 
December i, 1925, but lasted only three hours because the police 
felt its platform was too red in hue. Desperately its founders 
strove to purge it of every suggestion of radicalism, only to have 
it dissolved by the police because "it lacked sincerity". 

In 1926 another and wider attempt was made to unite farmers 

and labourers into one political party, but it resulted in a three- 
way split, leftist, conservative and centrist. Each group set up 
its own party. 


; The labour parties experienced their first tests in the prefectural 
elections of 1927 and the national elections of 1928, both during 
the incumbency of the notorious General Tanaka as Premier. 
The labourites were badly handicapped by factional conflicts 
among themselves, lack of funds, and particularly by the harassing 
of the police, employers and the thugs of the jingoist societies. 
Every labour politician who campaigned was almost certain to 
be beaten up by the thugs or silenced, detained or imprisoned by 
the police. In the Ashio copper-mining district, scene of the 
famous 1906 strike, the local mining company hired all the halls 
in order to prevent a labourite from speaking. 

Despite these impediments the labour parties managed to win 
a fair scattering of seats. In the prefectural elections of 1927 they 
elected twenty-eight candidates of 1500 to be elected, and regis- 
tered a total vote of 273,000. In the Diet elections of 1928 the 
labourites won eight out of the 466 seats and their total vote was 
increased to 438,000 4*4 per cent of the total votes cast. The 
Communist-influenced Workers and Peasants Party won two 
seats, polling 188,000 votes, or 2 per cent of the votes cast. The 
Communists considered this their first real victory in Japan. 

Even these slight advances were of considerable concern to the 
Government. General Tanaka was particularly irked because he 
was planning to intervene in China against the Nationalist forces 
whicn were marching northwards. One of the principal points 
which left-wing propaganda emphasized was opposition to 
Japanese intervention in the Chinese Nationalist Revolution. 
Leaflets and placards denouncing Japanese imperialism in China 
were distributed by the left-wing labourites, and they even 
conducted agitation among the troops. 

In March and April 1928 the Tanaka government inaugurated 
the scries of "Communist Raids*', by arresting almost 1000 left- 
wing leaders, suppressed both the Workers and Peasants Party 
and the leftist Trade Union Council and terrorized Japanese 
workers for the next decade. In May 1928 Japanese troops 
landed in Shantung, China. 


The world now recognizes that September 18, 1031, the day 
when the Manchurian Incident broke out, marked the beginning 


of World War II. It also had an immediate and revealing effect 
upon the Japanese labour movement, dividing the unions and 
their affiliated parties into three streams: active supporters of 
aggression, timid apologists for it and militant opponents. 

Active support tor the invasion of Manchuria was led by 
Katsumaro Akamatsu. Akamatsu had been a Social Democrat, 
but when the party refused to endorse his fascist position he and 
his followers split off in April 1932 and founded the Japanese 
State Socialist Party and a new trade-union centre. Akamatsu 
trumpeted to the almost three million unemployed that every 
jobless Japanese, every landless peasant, every employee or 
tradesman trying to make an honest living would find "heaven 
on earth" in Manchuria. He also proclaimed that Japan was 
"liberating" Asia from the race discrimination and exploitation 
of Western imperialism. Although the workers were influenced 
by the prevalent nationalist sentiment and the hope that conquest 
of foreign lands would improve their miserable lives somehow, 
Akamatsu succeeded in massing only some 1 7,000 followers in his 
fascist labour unions in 1932, one-fifth of total union membership 
and 10,000 less than the harassed and persecuted leftists. But by 
1 936, with the collaboration of the militarists, employers and the 
Government and with the adherence of a large number of com- 
pany unions, Akamatsu could claim a membership of 80,000. 

The conservative labour leaders, such as Professor Isp Abe and 
Bunji Suzuki, now emerged as apologists for aggression. Their 
political party was the Social Mass Party which succeeded to the 
Social Democratic Party in August 1932 as a result of the depar- 
ture of the Akamatsu "State Socialists" and the addition of 
centrist groups. There was also a parallel reorganization in the 
Federation of Labour, which was thereupon called the Japanese 
Trade Union Congress (Nippon Rodo Kumiai Kaigi) . Its total mem- 
bership was 275,000, or about three-fourths of total union 

The conservative labour leaders interspersed apologies for 
Japanese aggression with timid criticisms about the manner in 
which it was being carried out. Bunji Suzuki, who was "hon- 
oured" by inclusion in the Matsuoka delegation to the League of 
Nations, attempted to "explain" Japan's Manchurian policy 
while touring Europe and the United States. When Japan with- 
drew from the League of Nations the Social Mass Party warned 
that Japan was "being isolated from the rest of the world", but 
instead of blaming militarism for this attacked the Government's 
"aimless bureaucratic diplomacy". The Chief Secretary of the 
Social Mass Party criticized the Government because it had 

taken "only Korea, Formosa and Manchuria, which so far have 
only been an expense to the treasury and have brought in small 

In many cases, however, even the more conservative rank-and- 
file labourites did not agree with their leaders. Hamada, leader 
of the Seamen's Union, openly supported militarist intervention 
in Manchuria, and was expelled from the union as a consequence. 
When Bunji Suzuki returned from his international tour of "ex- 
planation 5 ', he was greeted by a storm of criticism from Social 
Mass Party members. 

The apologetic approach of the conservative labourites to the 
questions of war was also carried over into their attitude on eco- 
nomic problems. A conservative leader, Suchiro Nishio, in April 
1934 told the Japanese Trade Union Congress that ". . . we 
must endure wage cuts with tears in our eyes . . .". 

Organized opposition to continental expansion was centred in 
the left wing of the labour movement. As a result of the unwil- 
lingness of the leftists to work under the severe restrictions imposed 
by the police on legal unions, during the period from 1928 to 
1934 there were no legal left-wing trade unions, and activities 
were carried on through underground organizations. In Septem- 
ber 1932 a group of Tokyo metal-workers and a group of workers 
in a munitions plant were arrested for carrying on anti-war pro- 
paganda. In the Kanazawa area bordering the Japan Sea the 
wives of workers who had been mobilized brought their children 
to the barracks and demanded that the Government feed them, 
since it was depriving them of their fathers. In the Himeji- 
Okayama district several wives and mothers lay down on the rails 
in front of a troop train and shouted : "We shall not let our hus- 
bands and sons go to their deaths!'* On July 26, 1932, the last 
day of a major trial of leftists, more than 1 500 labourers staged 
demonstrations in Tokyo, waving red flags and shouting : "Down 
with the War of Aggression!" "Withdraw from Manchuria!" 

The leftist workers managed to continue their activity even in 
the army. On September 20, 1932, teachers and students of the 
Takarajima and Yokohama aviation schools were arrested for 
distributing leftist literature. The periodical Nippon, for January 
19, 1933, stated: ". . . the Communists carried on propaganda 
in the First Aviation School, Tokyo, issued a publication the 
Soldiers\Fnend, organized a special brigade whicn carried on its 
work during last year's manoeuvres in Kansai, organized nuclei 
in certain units of the army, while the navy section almost suc- 
ceeded in setting up a unit in Naval Headquarters itself". Jiichi 
Nichi reported on March 9, 1933 : "Several days ago in Shibuya 


fin Tokyo], the gendarmes arrested some soldiers suspected of 
participating in the "activities of the Anti-Imperialist League, 
distribution of Red literature and propaganda among the troops". 
Little wonder that the military conscription authorities were par- 
ticularly severe with industrial workers, in their attempts to 
screen out "unreliable" elements ! 

These anti-war activities brought down a fresh series of arrests 
on the heads of the left labourites and other anti-war elements. 
In October 1932 an extraordinary round-up of leftists netted 
some 2 200 prisoners. The police alleged that those arrested were 
the financial agents of the Communist Party and had been con- 
ferring on ways and means of financing the revolution. They had 
agreed, the police asserted, to secure money by entering the 
white-slave trade, by blackmailing, kidnapping, inducing rich 
girls to run away from home with their parents' funds, forgery, 
counterfeiting, and bank robberies ! 

The public was amazed by the presence of many scions of 
wealthy families among the leftists arrested by the police. To 
minimize the impact of this fact, the Tokyo police chief solemnly 
informed the Press that those aristocrats who turned "Com- 
munist" were suffering from too active minds placed in too weak 

In 1034 the leftists apparently decided that there were impor- 
tant advantages to legality, despite the severe police restrictions, 
and in November of that year organized a National Council of 
Trade Unions (%enkoku Rodo Kumiai Hyogikai) and the Proletarian 
Party (Musanto). The labour council began with only 14,000 
members and an apparent determination to be as radical as pos- 
sible while retaining the advantages of legality. By 1936 it had 
some 40,000 members. 

Both the National Council and the Proletarian Party were led 
by Kanju Kato, who, while not a Communist himself, was a mili- 
tant leftist, and was trusted and supported by the Communists. 
Formerly a newspaperman, he became a strike leader of the 
Yawata Iron Foundry strike in 1920 and later a leader of the 
centrist Miners Federation. In 1935 he visited the United States 
at the invitation of the C.I.O. 


During the years following the Manchurian Incident there was 
a growing disillusion with the supposed benefits of aggression. 
This was true of the middle classes, and particularly true of the 
industrial labourers. Instead of creating a "heaven on earth" the 
cost of aggression was footed by the mass of the people. Real 

wages dropped 23 per cent between 1931 and 1936; "take home 
pay" did not decline as much because of lengthened hours of 
labour. The number of labour disputes rose from 1600 in 1935 
to over 1900 in 1936, with a proportionate increase in participants. 

Public disappointment with the outcome of the Manchurian 
adventure and the general leftward movement of public opinion 
caused the opportunist leaders of the Social Mass Party to take a 
fairly vigorous anti-fascist and anti-militarist position during the 
very important Diet elections of 1936 and 1937. 

In the 1936 Diet campaign, the Social Mass Party called for a 
reduction of war expenditures and a new, more moderate foreign 
policy towards China. The Proletarian Party, under Kanju 
Kato's leadership, advocated a "popular front* * of all democratic, 
anti-militarist elements. The police replied by pronouncing a 
ban on the use of the words "popular front'*. Significantly, both 
the Social Mass and the Proletarian parties increased their popu- 
lar support on the basis of their anti-war programmes! The 
Social Mass Party received over 500,000 votes and picked up 
fifteen seats, rising from three to eighteen. The Proletarians 
achieved their first representation nationally when they succeeded 
in electing three members to the Diet, including Kato himself. 
The Minseito, which was still die less warlike of the two major 
parties, gained seventy-eight seats, while the aggressive Seijwkai 
lost sixty-eight. 

This demonstration of widespread support for a peace pro- 
gramme precipitated, just six days later, the military-fascist re- 
volt of February 26, 1936, the largest and bloodiest coup d'tiat 
which Japan had yet witnessed. Although this revolt did not suc- 
ceed, it was a warning of the lengths to which the military 
extremists were willing to go. 

The opponents of militarism attempted, within the limitations 
imposed by Japanese police terror, to indicate their continued 
opposition. In 1936, for the first time in seventeen years, the May 
Day celebration was forbidden, but nevertheless the leftists held 
scattered, illegal demonstrations with workers demanding political 
freedom, the nationalization of monopolies and the ending of 
aggresion in China. Anti-war leaflets were distributed in the 
army. In the Diet some members of the Social Mass Party, swept 
along on the wave of peace sentiment, denounced the Govern- 
ment policy in China, sharply criticized the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo 
Anti-Comintern Pact, and advocated a non-aggression pact with 
the U.S.S.R. 

In the general elections of April 30, 1937, a bare ten weeks 
before Japan renewed its invasion of China, the drift towards 


military fascism was a clear-cut issue. The outstanding result of 
the election was the great increase in the Social Mass Party, 
which, as a result of its anti-militarist election campaign, became 
the third largest party in the Diet, polling nearly a million votes 
and doubling its representation from eighteen to thirty-seven 
seats. Kanju Kato, of the Proletarian Party, was again elected 
from a working-class constituency in Tokyo, with the largest 
majority polled by any candidate; five other proletarians were 
successful. There can be little doubt that these indications of 
increasing anti-militarism in Japan, together with the increasing 
co-operation of the Nationalist and Communist forces in China, 
were the two most important catalytic agents precipitating the 
China Incident in July 1937. 


Japan's ruling oligarchy utilized the new "war emergency" to 
suppress all opposition with ruthless thoroughness. Under fire- 
eating Admiral Nobumasa Suetsugu, Home Minister in Prince 
Konoye's first Cabinet, wholesale arrests of opponents of mili- 
tarism were made in December 1937. Kanju Kato and 400 other 
leaders of the National Council of Trade Unions and the Pro- 
letarian Party were arrested and both organizations were sum- 
marily dissolved. Also arrested were thirty prefectural and 
municipal representatives, four former university professors and 
Baroness Ishimoto. 

The outbreak of the China war enabled the more nationalistic 
leaders of the Social Mass Party to reverse the trend towards anti- 
militarism which had dominated party policies in the previous 
three years. Under cover of the "national emergency**, pro- 
militarist elements were able to come to the fore in the leadership 
and swing the organization behind the China invasion. In the 
Diet the party supported the war, criticized the Government for 
its failure to insure the livelihood of the families of the soldiers at 
the front and called for good treatment of the North China 
peasants by the army so as to win them to the Japanese cause. 
Bunji Suzuki visited the United States in an effort to influence 
the American labour movement against taking hostile action 
towards Japan, 

In moving into this pro-war position the leaders of the Social 
Mass Party were not responding to any demand on the part of 
its followers. This was demonstrated in the Tokyo municipal 
elections held at the end of November 1937. The party elected 
only ten of its forty-two candidates, whereas in 1936 it had 
elected two-thirds of its candidates. 

The left labourites and Communists continued to oppose mili- 
tarism. On July 8, 1937, the day after the beginning of the 
China Incident, the Communists issued a statement denouncing 
Japan's attack as an "unjust robbers' war'* which every Japanese 
should oppose. Leaflets containing this statement were scattered 
in Tokyo, Kobe, Osaka and other industrial centres. It is esti- 
mated that an average of one arrest per day for activity against 
the war occurred in the two years following the outbreak of the 
China Incident. In addition to this illegal form of anti-war 
activity, the leftists also carried out a legal form of anti-war 
struggle, the demand for subsidies for soldiers' families, payment 
of soldiers' wages during their military service and similar 
activities. They were so successful in agitating among the mem- 
bers of some of the conservative unions that the pro-war leaders 
of some of these unions were forced to give voice to these demands 
in order to retain their positions. 

The conditions for anti-war activity on the part of labour 
rapidly became more and more difficult. March 1938 saw the 
passage of the National Mobilization Law, which authorized the 
Government to impose compulsory labour service, regulate wages 
and prohibit strikes and trade unions. In July 1938 the Govern- 
ment-supported "labour front" got under way. It was called the 
National Industrial Service Association (Sangyo Hokoku Kai, 
abbreviated as Sampo). In 1940 all the labour unions were 
abolished, their treasuries confiscated and their members ordered 
to join the Sampo , which was controlled directly by the 
Minister of Welfare. The workers in each plant were ordered to 
form a "co-operative body", with "the manager of the enterprise 
as the leader". One of the Sampo' s first acts was to send delega- 
tions to visit Germany and Italy. 

In the same year the Social Mass Party and the remaining 
political parties, the only other legal organizations capable of 
being political vehicles of popular discontent, were abolished and 
replaced by the totalitarian Imperial Rule Assistance Association. 


Despite ruthless repression, despite the fact that all their 
organizations were crushed, the workers nevertheless carried on 
a series of bitter struggles in 1941, on the eve of war. Although 
there were Westerners in many of the areas involved, reports of 
these strikes did not reach this country until 1943, when the 
Allied Labour News correspondent in Chungking obtained them 
from Japanese prisoners of war in Chungking. These prisoners 
were members of the Japanese Anti-War League in Chungking 


and claimed to have been participants in the strikes. The fact 
that these strikes were not noted by Westerners in Japan at that 
time is explainable by the strict police surveillance both of 
foreigners and of war industries, and also by the likelihood that 
the strikes were of the type used by the Japanese workers at the 
end of the last war. In this type of strike the workers stay on the 
job and go through all the motions of working but do not 
actually accomplish anything. 

Labour unrest in 1941 was the cumulative product of the 
steady decline in living standards. In 1939 a ceiling on wages 
was instituted, to be followed by a law preventing labour mobility, 
and finally, in 1942, by labour conscription. At first these 
measures were merely proclaimed and their enforcement was 
perfunctory, but gradually the screws were tightened. 

The first great strike apparently broke out in Kobe in April 
1941. According to the story compiled by Japanese war prisoners 
in China, the direct cause of the Kobe strike was dissatisfaction 
with the workers' food rations. Under the new system instituted 
that year each worker was entitled to 2.7 go (one go equals 
three-tenths of a pint) of rice daily, against a normal peace-time 
consumption of four go for men and three for women. Further- 
more, because of shortages the amount actually given the workers 
was about 15 per cent less. At the same time the working day had 
been increased from between ten and twelve to sixteen hours 
with compulsory night shifts twice every week. 

Workers' representatives from various plants met secretly to 
consider the situation and decided to launch a movement with 
three slogans: "Shorten working hours and increase wages*', 
"Give us 2-7 go of rice as you promised'* and "A voluntary night 
shift*'. These demands were presented to the management, and 
when they were refused a form of sit-down strike was started. 
The workers came to work, but they stopped the machines and 
did nothing* 

Despite police pressure the deadlock continued for five days 
and the owners snowed no signs of weakening. Another slogan 
then appeared : "The plant administrations have no sincerity 
break the machinery". Systematic sabotage began, and more 
than loo lathes are reported to have been smashed in the Kawa- 
saki Shipbuilding Company dockyards alone. Every effort was 
made to suppress news of these developments. The papers were 
not allowed to publish a word, and the police made arrests of 
people who were even heard talking about it. 

In the week following the strike the police questioned 20,000 
workers in order to identify the ringleaders. After a thorough 

comb-out, four men were accused of fomenting the strike and 
shot. Twenty-four of the more active workers were sentenced to 
transportation from the country and not heard of again. 

Japanese war prisoners declared that another large-scale strike 
broke out at Nagoya in August 1941, involving the Mitsubishi 
aircraft plant and other factories in that city. As at Kobe, 
sabotage played a prominent part in the strike. It is reported 
that striking workers took airplane parts out of the plants, broke 
them and threw them into ditches. The strike was settled by 
partial concessions to the workers, but after work was resumed, 
numerous arrests were made. 

In September 1941, 3000 of the 60,000 workers at the great 
Kokura arsenal in North Kyushu are reported to have struck, 
demanding shorter hours and improved working conditions. It 
is reported that there were no arrests and no reprisals after this 
strike because the War Ministry itself recognized that the degree 
of overwork was so high at the arsenal that production was im- 
peded instead of speeded up. There may also have been a desire 
on the part of the militarists to show that they, unlike the private 
capitalists, were willing to listen to legitimate complaints. 

There is also a report of a large-scale strike in October in 
Tsurumi, the heavy industry section of Yokohama. A special 
characteristic of this strike was joint action between the industrial 
workers and salaried employees. Not much is known about this 
incident except that repression was severe and many participants 
were transported overseas for work on fortifications. 

Wataru Kaji, leader of the Japanese Anti-War League at 
Chungking, has stated that these 1941 strikes had an international 
significance, because they came at a time when the militarists 
were presumably deciding whether to strike north against the 
Soviet Union or south and east against Britain and the United 
States. Kaji declared that these strikes led many of Japan's 
leaders to believe that an attack on the U.S.S.R. involving an 
all-out continental war close to home, with large-scale bombing 
of Japan and Soviet political warfare amid unsettled internal 
conditions was not wise until order within the country was 
secured. On the other hand, a war again Britain and the United 
States, fought on distant battle-fronts, would give the militarists 
advantages on the home front because they could claim that 
Japan was fighting for her life against economic strangulation and 
for the "liberation" of the subject peoples of Asia. Such slogans 
undoubtedly have influence among ordinary Japanese with no 
access to unbiased sources of news. 



Even before December 7, 1941, Japanese industrial workers 
laboured under conditions difficult for the Westerner to conceive. 
But after that infamous date the workers of Japan were reduced 
to slavery, slow starvation and inhuman toil. 

Labour conscription was put into effect after March 1942, and 
steadily increased in scope until the Government was able to 
assign men and women over twelve years of age and up to 
seventy to any industry in any part of the Japanese Empire. The 
method of conscription is the same as that used by the army, 
except that draft notices are printed on red cards for soldiers 
and white for workers. 

"White-card service" became a word of horror to Japanese 
workers. It meant their removal from place to place without 
regard for their family situation and pay fixed at a daily maximum 
of i .60 yen (forty cents, United States currency) for men and one 
yen (twenty-five cents) for women. In normal times, before infla- 
tion set in, this was approximately the minimum wage. Skilled 
workers often earned nve yen ($1.25) a day, but with the advent 
of conscription they could be arbitrarily shifted from their old jobs 
into conscript categories where no amount of experience could 
get them even one- third of this sum. 

Of all conscript labour, the lot of the workers in the scrapped 
and sold factories was the worst. Where their skills were directly 
useful these workers were literally sold with their plants. They 
were placed unconditionally at the disposal of the purchasing 
trusts, who paid them the conscript wage regardless of their 
previous status. Those without important usable skills were sent 
on the same day to training-camps, where they underwent a 
forced course in vocational training under military discipline 
again without a single day to arrange their own affairs. 

One result of the " white-card" service was a wave of suicides. 
One suicide in Kobe attracted wide at tendon. A young man who 
was supporting his grandmother and two younger sisters received 
his white card ordering him to depart the next day. The same 
evening he wrote a letter to the governor of the prefecture, after 
which the entire family lay down on the railway track and was 
killed. Thousands of Kobe workers turned out for the funeral ; 
and despite police surveillance, speakers at the ceremony poured 
out their indignation and told ol similar episodes. 

The pitifully small sums earned by the conscripted workers 
bought them less and less in the way of goods. Taxes and prices 
of daily necessities rose sharply and many goods were only obtain* 

able on the black market at several times the official prices. In 
the black market a pair of shoes had risen to the equivalent of 
135 American dollars by February 1945, or more than eleven 
months' salary for the average conscripted worker ! 

There was a continual deterioration in the amount and quality 
of food, so that by the autumn of 1944 Premier Koiso virtually 
admitted that Japan had made the transition from bare subsist- 
ence to slow starvation. The Government had requisitioned ail 
foodstuffs and the police rationed them out to the people, half of 
the ration being rice and the rest beans and other staples. But a 
day's ration was only enough for one meal, and those who could 
afford it had to buy wheat flour and other food from the black 
market at many tunes the normal price. In the autumn of 1944 
Domei admitted in a broadcast that the rising infant mortality 
rate was due to the acute food shortage. The mothers lacked 
nutrition, and consequently had no milk. In an attempt to allay 
mass unrest, the Metropolitan police established soup kitchens, 
but even the Tokyo radio admitted that there was "not much 
nourishment in a hodge-podge consisting mostly of water and a 
few stringy shavings of egg-plant" ! In 194$, under the impact 
of increased bombings and decreased shipping, mass starvation 

These inadequately fed workers were compelled to work a mini- 
mum of twelve hours, and frequently as much as sixteen. Many 
industries worked three sixteen-hour shifts in forty-eight hours. 
The average worker was allowed only two days of rest each 
month. Industrial exhaustion developed to new and fantastic 
degrees. Workers began to show symptoms of various forms of 
insanity on a mass scale. Japanese scientists considered this 
phenomenon learnedly for a time, then came to a discovery that 
most of the cases recovered if given a sedative and left alone to 
sleepwhich some did for three or four days without waking. 
Despite the lisks involved, the doctors turned in a report stating 
flatly that the only thing wrong with the men was that they 
worked too hard and slept too little. 

Exhaustion and the assignment of inexperienced workers to 
complicated jobs produced a terribly high rate of accidents and 
sickness throughout Japan. A prisoner of war captured in China 
who worked in one of the Mitsubishi electrical factories told how 
he himself had seen fifty accidents happen in one day, including 
seven deaths and thirteen serious injuries. 

Tuberculosis, always the great scourge of Japanese industrial 
labourers, mowed down hundreds of thousands. 


Confronted with such conditions, Japanese labour found the 
energy to fight back. The full story, of course, can only be told 
after the war. Much of the information on this subject made 
available during the course of the war came from the Japanese 
People's Emancipation League and therefore might be dis- 
counted in some measure. However, the American and British 
observers who visited Yenan in the summer and fall of 1944 
found that the League headquarters there had complete files of 
smuggled Japanese magazines and newspapers to which the 
visitors were given free access. These newspapers and periodicals 
had been culled by the League for items indicating popular resist- 
ance to Japanese militarism, and a similar effort had been made 
to obtain this type of information from Japanese prisoners cap- 
tured by the Eighth Route Army. 

The following evidences of unrest include only those which are 
substantiated in the Japanese Press or elsewhere. 

The first evidence of labour resistance after the attack on Pearl 
Habour was a strike for shorter hours at the Kawasaki dockyard 
in Kobe in the spring of 1942, under Communist leadership. That 
this strike was not an isolated instance is evidenced by official 
Japanese Government figures which admit to over 250 disputes 
during 1942. 

In the Diet session of February 1943 the Home Minister stated : 
"It is regrettable that although the Communist movement has 
gradually diminished since the China Incident, it has still not 
been completely obliterated". 

Labour discontent was apparently of great concern to those of 
the Government's supporters who were in close contact with in- 
dustrial workers. In the spring of 1943, at a conference of the 
Imperial Rule Assistance Association, a delegate from an indus- 
trial district made the following statement : "The feeling of the 
Japanese people towards co-operation in winning the war is 
weakening. Is not the working class the only group that makes 
sacrifices, while the people on top do nothing and make money?" 

Labour resistance also took forms other than strikes, because 
strikes almost inevitably exposed the strike leaden to police 
retribution. Perhaps the next most important weapon was 
absenteeism. Absenteeism is just as effective in preventing pro* 
duction, and just as much of an economic sacrifice for poorly paid 
workers. Quoting the Japanese industrial magazine Diamond, 
XCNR, the Yenan Communists' transmitter, reported that in 
1943 10 per cent of the workers in Japan stayed away from the 

factory for no apparent reason. In 1944 it was claimed that 15 per 
cent of the workers in 761 factories did not go to work regularly. 
These figures were more than supported in a surprising talk to 
Japanese Home and Empire radio audiences on October 26, 
1944, by Dr. Isaku Tsukada. Dr. Tsukada, according to the 
monitored broadcast, made the startling disclosure that in some 
factories absenteeism ran as high as 40 per cent ! He attributed 
this poor showing largely to malingering on the part of the 
workers. During his investigation of workers absent from factories 
for periods of two weeks or more, the doctor asserted that ^one- 
third of those who were absent saying that they were suffering 
from beriberi or pneumonia had no physical breakdown and were 
persons who could work very well". The term "absenteeism" as 
used by Dr. Tsukada was not quite accurate, because he appar- 
ently included not only time lost by staying away from the plant, 
but also the total man hours lost due to absence from the worker's 
post in the factory. Such malingering would certainly seem to 
indicate a lack of enthusiasm for the war among a considerable 
number of industrial labourers and perhaps a conscious slow- 

Station XCNR contributed more material in this direction 
with quotations from the well-known J apanese magazine Oriental 
Economist, which reported that workers- in the Kawasaki Ship- 
building yard in Kobe frequently asked for leave, and even when 
they went to work purposely slowed down the pace, or even 
damaged the machines by "pretending to be careless". Some 
workers were reported to have wasted and stolen raw materials, 
On this point the magazine Diamond was quoted as having said 
in its March 1944 issue that "in several cases as much as 45 per 
cent of (the) raw material was wasted or stolen". 

The outstanding suggestion of industrial sabotage by Japanese 
workers was contained in an article which appeared in the Asahi 
Shimbun of July 29, 1944. This article warned that the "spirit of 
personnel producing planes must be re-created", and quoted a 
statement by Major-General Masamitsu Mori of the army air 
force in which he attacked the shoddy quality of Japanese air- 
craft. The statement of General Mori suggests sabotage rather 
than carelessness. He declared that although a "factory that 
could manufacture two hundred planes last year can now increase 
output to five hundred planes, I want to inform you that this 
increase is only to be found in the factory's books. . . . Many facts 
which I have seen or heard cannot but make me warn producers 
in the rear. ... To speak of it is heartbreaking the increased 
number of planes are not of any use at the front, but instead only 


increase casualties of our flying officers, thus wasting [the] money 
and resources of the country. When five hundred planes are trans- 
ported to the front, it is discovered that 10 per cent of them are 
not up to the mark, and this is only the number discovered by 
test flights. During fighting, the number not up to the mark is 
more. I can tell you that our planes, after flying a few hours, 
usually leak oil or have engine trouble, so that very often, when 
setting out to bomb or to attack enemy planes, they have to fly 
back when halfway or are even lost and damaged on the >vay. 
So this cannot but affect our plan of fighting. ..." 

It is perhaps significant that Kanju Kato, anti-fascist labour 
leader, was imprisoned once again shortly after this. He had been 
arrested at the end of 1937, but was released later, after promising 
to give up political activities. In November 1944 he was again 
arrested and sentenced to prison for three years. It seems reason- 
able to assume that the rising tide of political unrest had made it 
impossible for him to keep his promise. 

In order to counter increasing unrest and absenteeism among 
the industrial workers, the Labour Division of the Japanese police 
was greatly strengthened. This division was particularly impor- 
tant after the start of the great fire-bomb attacks on Japanese 
industrial centres early in 1945, because the destruction and tem- 
porary breakdown of authority gave additional opportunities for 
absenteeism, sabotage, and the circulation of illicit propaganda. 
The importance attributed by Japanese ruling circles to police 
control of such labour activities is indicated by the fact that when 
the Emperor made a tour of the damaged areas in Tokyo on 
March 18, 1945, he paid a special and unprecedented visit to the 
Labour Division of the Metropolitan Police Board. 


There can be little doubt that the Japanese labour movement 
will play an important role in the post-war world. Trade unions 
have never attained great numerical strength in the past because 
of severe repression and the availability of unlimited supplies of 
cheap labour from the impoverished rural areas, plus tne addi- 
tional undermining effect of constant factional conflicts. For 
these reasons, labour unions have never organized more than 
8 per cent of all the industrial labourers. 

But a rudimentary underground labour movement has appar- 
ently persisted and is certain to grow as the forces of repression 
weaken. Therefore we arc faced with the immediate and long- 
run question of what the United Nations' attitude should be to- 
wards the Japanese industrial labourer and his organizations. 

During the past half-century the labour movement in Japan 
has provided the most militant and consistent anti-war elements. 
While we cannot expect military government to be popular 
among Japanese workers, there is every indication that these 
elements will co-operate with occupation authorities in rooting 
out their common enemies the military fascists and their collab- 
orators. It is only just and wise that we co-operate with those 
who have demonstrated their opposition to militarism by their 
past actions. We should view with suspicion turncoat opportunists 
like Bunji Suzuki should they offer tneir assistance. We can co 
operate, however, with moderate labour leaders who have indi- 
cated their opposition to war by retiring and refusing to aid the 
Government. We should also enlist the aid of those left labourites 
like Kanju Kato who have braved jail, torture and death to 
oppose Japanese aggression. 

A large portion of the labour leaders who have resisted the 
militarists are leftists. It would be not only unjust but inexpedient 
to reject their aid on that score, because they command a con- 
siderable following, and a co-operative attitude on the part of the 
Japanese working people will simplify many of the tasks of the 
occupation authorities. Furthermore, although the political 
affiliations of the labour leaders are leftist, the demands which 
they express are almost ridiculously moderate by Western stan- 
dards : an eight-hour day, a six-day week, improved working con- 
ditions and pay, freedom of speech, Press and organization, and 
freedom to picket and strike. 

We must not overlook the fact that the fulfilment of these 
demands not only favours the industrial labourers of Japan, but 
will also be in the interest of the prosperity and peace of the 
entire Pacific. An increase in the income of the Japanese worker 
will narrow the difference in labour costs between Japan and the 
other industrial powers, help diminish cut-throat competition, and 
make possible the exchange of goods on a more equitable basis. 

The elimination of cheap labour in Japan will also reduce the 
incentives for war. We have noted that one of the most important 
elements propelling Japan to war has been the low income of the 
great majority of the population, which has made it impossible 
for them to purchase any substantial proportion of Japanese pro- 
duction. This lack of an internal market has made necessary 
aggressive trade competition and war. The remedy, therefore, 
lies in large part in enabling the industrial population, as well as 
other depressed groups, to constitute a stable internal market by 
increasing their proportion of Japanese national income. 
Since working with the labour movement is likely to provide 

F (D.I.J.) l6l 

us with expert assistance in eliminating militarism and estab- 
lishing peace and prosperity in Japan, it would seem merely 
enlightened self-interest on our part to do so. 


A POST-WAR anti-militarist Government, undertaking the 
herculean task of re-educating Japan, will have to consider the 
work of both Wataru Kaji and Susumu Okano, the Japanese anti- 
fascists who have achieved such striking results in converting 
Japanese prisoners of war in Chungking and Yenan. There are few 
Japanese who can speak with more authority on the possibility 
of reclaiming the Japanese mind from the corruption of military 


The Chinese Government has lauded his work, but the Im- 
perialjapanese Government itself has given the best tributes to 
the effectiveness of Wataru Kaji. The Japanese military police 
offered generous rewards for his head. The Japanese air force 
twice attempted to pinpoint his residence in China. And Japanese 
newspapers in Shanghai and Japan devoted columns to reports 
of the activities of Kaji and his converts. 

Kaji was born in 1903 in Kyushu; his parents were prosperous 
landlords with twelve tenants and his grandfather had been a 
samurai of the Satsuma clan. In his early youth Kaji wanted to 
be a naval officer, but when he reached Tokyo Imperial Univer- 
sity in 1923 he devoted himself to literature exclusively. The 
University was a liberal institution in those days with intense dis- 
cussions raging on all sorts of political and economic questions. 
Through liberal friends he gradually became aware of the social 
implications of literature and got caught up in the swirl of political 
argument. His first organizing activity was caused by his class- 
mate, Prince Yamanashi. All the students were obliged to bow 
to the floor, button their collars and do reverence before this 
member of the Imperial Household, who was ensconced at an 
elaborate desk set high above the others. It got under Kaji's 
skin, and he organized a . boycott of any class attended by the 
Prince. This boycott was actually enforced for three years. At the 
university, Kaji joined Professor Yoshino's New Man Society, and 
in 1 926 organized a Society for the Investigation of New Literature. 

After graduation in 1927, Kaji joined the Workers and Peasants 
Party and did organizational work in Niigata, a hotbed of peasant 
discontent. Kaji helped form a communal school and helped in 
the organization of peasant unions, which during this period 
attained considerable strength. 

He was also very active as a leader of leftist writers. In 1928 
a monthly magazine, Fighting Flag, was started, and Kaji was one 
of its editors. By 1930 it attained a circulation of 30,000, mainly 
among intellectuals and trade-union leaders. Nominally the 
magazine was legal, but the police sought in every way to suppress 
it. Copies were often confiscated in bookstores, and in many 
places the magazine had to be distributed in secret. As a result 
of the confiscation of its issues and the arrest of its editors, the 
magazine was forced to close in 1931. 

Kaji was one of the most active members of the Federation of 
Revolutionary Artists and Writers. From 1927 to 1932 he was a 
member of its central executive committee, and froip 1932 to 
1934 he was general secretary. After 1930, however, the federa- 
tion, like other leftist groups, was hampered and weakened by 
systematic repression. 

Kaji paid for his activities with repeated jailings. He was 
arrested for the first time in 1930, charged with being a member 
of the Anti-Imperialist League. To make him confess the police 
beat him across the legs for two hours every day for a month. He 
was finally released, but thereafter was periodically rearrested 
and given short sojourns in prison. When free he carried on his 
work as best he could. Dozens of his friends were tortured to 
death in various prisons in 1932 and 1933, but apparently this 
fact did not undermine his courage. 

In 1933 Kaji was arrested for the third time, because his card 
was found among the effects of his best friend, Takiji Kobayashi, 
the celebrated short-story writer, who was tortured to death by 
the Tokyo police. "In Tokyo," Kaji told Edgar Snow, "there are 
over eignry police jails, and each one can keep a prisoner without 
any trial for two months. The police did not charge me with any 
cri|ne, I was just shifted from one jail to another. The filthy little 
cells held an average of twenty people. Most of them were sick. I 
was beaten in every jail. The police would bind me up and lift 
me from the floor, beat me to unconsciousness, then revive me 
and beat me again." 

In February 1934 he was imprisoned once more, and not re- 
leased until November 1935. When he emerged from prison un- 
expectedly he realized that he had been released only because the 
** hoped he would lead them to nil comrades. He lived for 


months in isolation and terror of re-arrest, and realized that he 
could no longer work successfully in Japan. 

Like most anti-militarists, Kaji understood that the power of 
the Japanese autocracy would only be broken if it met with 
severe military defeat. It became obvious that Japan's next mili- 
tary advance would come in China> so he determined to go there. 
The authorities would not grant him a passport. An opportunity 
for escape came at last in January 1930, when he disguised him- 
self as a samurai actor in a travelling drama company and was 
able to reach Shanghai. The Japanese authorities finally dis- 
covered him in Shanghai, but by that time Kaji had found a 
powerful protector, the famous Chinese short-story writer Lu 
Hsun, who informed the Japanese that Kaji had come to China 
solely to study Chinese literature with him and must not be 

Kaji stayed in Shanghai for a year and a half, during which 
period he married Yuki Ikeda, a beautiful young anti-fascist who 
nad led an equally harrowing life. While still in college she had 
become active in the Christian reform movement of Toyohiko 
Kagawa, and later worked with the liberal Baroness Ishimoto. 
Miss Ikeda had been imprisoned more times than Kaji for her 
anti-militarist activities and had undergone severe torture. Once 
her inquisitors broke all the fingers of both her hands. She was a 
woman of frail health and was an invalid for weeks after each 
imprisonment, but all the punishment failed to "reform" her. 
She continued her underground organization of Japanese women 
labourers until pressure on active anti-militarists became so great 
that she transferred her activities to China. 

When the China war broke out in July 1937 the Japanese 
authorities almost nabbed both of them. Kaji and his wife fled at 
once to the French Concession, where Japanese secret service 
police soon found them and watched their activities. Kaji wanted 
to work with the Chinese, but the Chinese mistrusted him, fearing 
a subtle Japanese ruse. The Japanese demanded that the 
authorities of the French Concession hand him over, and the 
situation looked desperate because the Japanese military forces in 
Shanghai had in the meantime blocked the last land escape. 
Kaji and his wife were planning to kill themselves when at the 
last minute Rewi Alley, who was later to become foreign adviser 
to the Chinese Industrial Co-operatives, secured passage for them 
to Hong Kong* 

They spent four months in Hong Kong with Japanese secret 
service men watching and threatening them. Kaji wrote many 
articles for Chinese newspapers and magazines, and at last the 

Chinese allowed him to come into the interior. After a hair* 
raising last-minute escape from Japanese agents, who tried to kid- 
nap him in Hong Kong, they reached Hankow, then the capital, 
in March 1938. 

Kaji was attached to the propaganda section of the Chinese 
Army Political Department and worked under Kuo Mo-jo, the 
Chinese left-wing writer and archaeologist, who had returned 
from exile in Japan about the time war broke out. Kaji was 
"psychological adviser" to the section, which was staffed with 
scores of Japanese-educated Chinese who wrote propaganda for 
distribution among Japanese soldiers and civilians in China, 
Manchuria and even Japan. Kaji had his hand in everything, 
including a leaflet which Chinese airplanes dropped on Tokyo 
in that period before their airfields near me coast were 

The Japanese army answered this political warfare by heavily 
bombing the building which housed the Political Department. 
Scores were killed, and Kaji and his wife were almost completely 
buried. When they were dug out it was discovered that a missile 
had missed penetrating the roof directly above their heads by 
only a few inches. Shortly thereafter Japanese bombers aimed for 
the house in which the Kajis were living. Flying low, Japanese 
bombers circled their house and then dropped their bombs, hit- 
ting the house without injuring the Kajis. An investigation 
revealed that a Chinese traitor had signalled the location to the 
enemy planes with a large mirror. After this disconcerting ex- 
perience they kept their address a secret. 

In Hankow the Kajis ran head on into the problem of breaking 
through the heavy indoctrination of Japanese prisoners. As the 
American forces discovered later, Japanese captives were thor- 
oughly convinced that capture was a disgrace and that the 
Chinese would cut their hearts out or roast them alive. Even 
when captured badly wounded they would attempt suicide by 
stabbing themselves with surgical instruments or jumping from 
moving trains or down the sides of cliffs. If they did not succeed 
they became desperately homesick and lonely, or fearful that if 
they fell into Japanese hands again they would be executed. 

In Hankow, and later hi Chungking, Kaji and his wife worked 
tirelessly on this problem. With infinite patience they attempted 
to alter the captives' ideas concerning the character of the Chinese 
and the justness of Japan's war aims. They were gratified if they 
succeeded only in taking the prisoners' minds off suicide. In one 
case Kaji had to cure the suicide obsession twice. After curing a 
spirited captive of his initial desire to commit suicide, Kaji began 


the process of changing his ideas about the cause of the war, 
Japan's "divine mission" and the remainder of the military fascist 
dogma with which he had been instilled. The captive clung to his 
old ideas, but apparently had enough innate honesty to begin to 
see the truth of Kaji's arguments. After about a year he came to 
a point where the next logical step was the rejection of his old 
ideas. He could not bring himself to do this and, terribly upset 
by this conflict between his old and new ideas, attempted suicide 
again. The attempt was unsuccessful, and Kaji helped nurse him 
back to health and again took up the thread of persuasion. 

In a number of cases Kaji's persistence was more fruitfully 
rewarded. One of the outstanding examples was Seisaku Shiomi, 
who, up to December 1938, was secretary to the Japanese con- 
sulate hi Hanoi, Indo-China, and at the same time a member of 
the Japanese secret service. He was captured by Chinese troops 
while on a spying tour of the frontier between China and Indo- 
China. Kaji worked on him, talking to him and giving him 
books to read, and after a year he decided to participate in the 
anti-fascist movement, and became a very effective radio pro- 
pagandist. "I used to believe that I was blessed to have been 
born Japanese," Shiomi told Agnes Smedley, "and I thought my 
Government was doing the right thing in invading China. I 
could not help seeing that we Japanese were the only men of 
colour who had not been conquered by the white race. The 
militarists of my country were able to use this fact to inspire us 
with the belief that we were fighting for the liberation of all 
coloured people. But since I have studied and thought, it has 
become clear to me that our militarists merely wish to take the 
place of the white imperialists. It took a long time for me to 
change my whole life's training and take a step which the Japanese 
brand as treason. However, I see that the rulers of Japan, like 
those of most other countries, merely use the common people as 
sources of wealth in time of peace and as cannon-fodder in time 
of war. Now I broadcast in Japanese to the Japanese troops and 
people, trying to explain what I believe. I work for real peace 
and justice, and my mind is at rest." 

In addition to persuading those already captured, Kaji was 
active in front-line propaganda. He and a group of his converts 
began doing front-line loudspeaker propaganda at the end of 
1939 on the Kwangsi front. The moment was dramatic. The first 
sound from the loudspeaker silenced the rifle and machine-gun 
fire, and thereafter he was able to broadcast his denunciations of 
militarism without interruption. For six successive nights Kaji 
and his associates urged their compatriots to lay down their arms. 

None of the Japanese units surrendered, but the next day the 
Chinese drove the enemy back with little difficulty, 

A subsequent verbal bombardment on the Ichang front was so 
effective that Lieutenant-General Sonobe, then commander of 
the Japanese troops in that area, made a personal visit to hear it. 
The Sixth Company of the io4th Regiment was placed under 
arrest, and the company commander court-martialled when the 
General found the men weakening under the impact of the anti- 
militarist propaganda. 

This psychological warfare was not always waged without cost 
to the Japanese anti-fascists. One of those who was lost was 
Katsuo Aoyama, who, prior to coming to China, had been a 
labour leader in Japan. In China he first worked in Nanking with 
the Chinese army propaganda section, and then in Hankow he 
helped organize a group of Korean volunteers. Later he went up 
to the front near Nanmng and broadcast to a. Japanese attacking 
force over a loudspeaker. His voice carried above the sound of 
battle, and gradually the firing stopped on both sides, with the 
Japanese listening in amazement to a fellow countryman appeal- 
ing to them to stop killing the Chinese and to turn their guns 
against their real enemies, the Mitsuis and other Japanese profi- 
teers, who had made 10,000,000 yen out of the war. Suddenly 
fresh Japanese troops were rushed up to relieve those who had 
lost interest in fighting. They made an unexpectedly sally against 
the loudspeaker, and Aoyama was captured. The Mitsuis were 
mercilessly avenged. 


By December 1939 the number of Japanese prisoners who had 
been reclaimed from militarism and had become anti-fascists 
numbered about fifty, and they banded together in the Japanese 
Anti-War League with Kaji as their leader. These captives were 
trusted by the Chinese and were not compelled to remain in 
prisoner camps. They published their own magazine, and num- 
bers of them travelled from one prisoner-of-war camp to another, 
lecturing to the unconverted. About twenty of them formed a 
dramatic group, wrote their own propaganda plays and put them 
on for the Chinese population and for the Japanese war prisoners. 

The Anti-War League had just about got started when it got 
entangled in the conflict between the Chinese Communists and 
the Kuomintang. From the beginning of the war until the fall of 
Hankow in 1938 relations between the two major Chinese parties 
had been rather friendly, but after that had begun to cool. By 1940 
the conservatives in the Kuomintang had determined upon an 


anti-Communist programme, and anything smacking of leftism 
was frowned upon. In June 1 940 Chen Li-fu, the Chinese Minister 
of Education, suppressed the Anti-War League's dramatic troupe. 
The plays they presented were considered revolutionary because 
they showed the effects of the war upon the poor people of Japan ! 

As the conservative swing in Chungking continued, the work 
of Kaji and his associates in the Anti-War League was further 
circumscribed. Despite the fact that the Chinese military forces 
continued to suffer reverses, the Japanese anti-fascists were no 
longer permitted to go to the front lines to broadcast to the 
Japanese troops. Kaji was replaced as "psychological adviser" 
by one Kazuo Aoyama (not to be confused with the afore- 
mentioned Katsuo Aoyama who was captured and killed by the 
Japanese forces while doing front-line propaganda). Kaji con- 
tinued, however, to write propaganda for the Chinese army, and 
in November 1944 the Chungking radio announced that Kaji was 
leading a series of weekly Friday evening discussions at the Sino- 
American Institute of Cultural Relations. 

Kaji was precluded from reaching his full effectiveness because 
of the limitations imposed by the Chinese political situation, but 
during the period in which he had free access to the Japanese 
prisoners he was able to establish the fact that even during a 
period when Japanese forces were winning, patient re-education 
of Japanese prisoners with a heavy militarist indoctrination could 
win them over to the cause of anti-fascism. 


When the handful of American and British correspondents and 
Government observers made their long-coveted trip to the 
Chinese Communist capital of Yenan in the summer of 1944, one 
of the persons they were most interested in interviewing was not 
a Chinese, but a Japanese Susumu Okano. Okano's importance 
derived from two facts. He was one of the founders, and perhaps 
the most outstanding leader, of the Japanese Communist Party, 
virtually the only group which had been able to maintain under- 
ground resistance within Japan. Furthermore, he was the leading 
figure in the Japanese People's Emancipation League, the most 
potent organization of anti-militarist Japanese outside of Japan. 

Before the arrival of the party of correspondents and observers, 
the Japanese army had indicated its estimate of Okano's activities 
by sending half a dozen specially trained assassins into the Yenan 
area to poison Okano and disrupt the activities of the Emancipa- 
tion League. 

Through their interviews and observations both in Yenan and 
in the field, the correspondents learned that through the collabora- 
tion of the Eighth Route Army and the Japanese anti-fascists, a 
remarkable political belt line had been developed capable of 
taking on ignorant, heavily-indoctrinated Japanese captives and 
even spies, and within a year and a half converting them into 
effective and self-reliant anti-militarist organizers. This belt line 
took them through three stages : reception, schooling and fronc- 
line experience. 


From the outset of the war the Japanese captives who fell into 
the hands of the Eighth Route Army were bewildered by the 
strangely kind treatment they received. They were handled in 
line with the policy of "Kill no captives, give them preferential 
treatment and release those who desire to return". 

This policy had two important objectives. The first was to 
weaken the Japanese soldier's last-ditch resistance by undermin- 
ing the Japanese army indoctrination that the Eighth Route 
Army killed all its prisoners. The second was to recruit and train 
a group of Japanese to be used in the Political Department of the 
Eighth Route Army. 

To achieve these objectives the captives were virtually over- 
whelmed with generosity. Early in the war strict orders were 
issued forbidding injury or insult to the captives or confiscation 
of their belongings. Captives were given substantially better food 
and more cigarettes than the Chinese soldiers themselves received. 
And special treatment was accorded to the sick or wounded. 

As soon as possible the captives were turned over to members 
of the Japanese People's Emancipation League, who operated in 
most of the front-line areas. The presence of Japanese on the 
Chinese side puzzled most captives even more than their good 
treatment. From the lips of these Japanese anti-fascists, who were 
formerly captives themselves, the captives learned that there were 
several hundred Japanese working with the Eighth Route Army 
to overthrow Japanese militarism and restore peace and dem- 
ocracy in Japan, They themselves were given the choice of return- 
ing to the Japanese lines or going to the Japanese anti-fascist 
school in Yenan to learn how they had been tricked and betrayed 
by the militarists. 

Although the captives were generally deeply impressed by the 

generous treatment received, most of them preferred to return to 

their own lines. Of the 3oco-odd deserters or prisoners taken by 

the Chinese Communists from the outset of the war until the 

F2 169 

middle of 1944, only about 325 had decided to remain with the 
Eighth Route Army. Those who chose to return to their own 
lines were given farewell parties and were provided with travelling 
expenses and guides. The wounded were sent back after being 

Towards the end of 1944 the front-line propaganda workers 
made a determined attempt to increase the number of those who 
would stay with the Eighth Route Army and go to school in 
Yenan. One reason was the fact that the Japanese army, fearful 
of the effect of a steady stream of returning captives who told 
their fellow soldiers of the generous treatment accorded them, had 
taken to segregating and killing those that returned. Further- 
more, experience at the school at Yenan had demonstrated that 
the tough-minded captives who were at first least desirous of 
staying with Chinese forces frequently made the most aggressive 
and effective anti-fascist propagandists when converted. Finally, 
Susumu Okano had decided that Japan's defeat was approaching, 
and that it was wise to train several hundred additional organizers 
to return to Japan and influence its post-war development. 

Before starting those who voluntarily chose to remain on the 
long trek from the front lines back to Yenan, every effort was 
made to determine whether or not the captive was a legitimate 
captive or a spy who had deliberately "deserted" in order to 
worm his way into the Japanese People's Emancipation League. 
In areas where the Japanese propaganda workers had good con- 
tacts with Japanese soldiers in the blockhouses they investigated 
suspicious deserters through telephone calls over tapped wires. The 
prisoners were interrogated time and again, and asked to write 
their personal histories on several different occasions in order to 
detect inconsistencies. Those who were considered suspicious were 
kept under surveillance, but sent to Yenan nevertheless, because 
the school there had demonstrated its ability to convert even spies. 


The Japanese Peasants' and Workers' School, one of the most 
remarkable educational institutions in the world, has been housed 
in a cluster of caves cut into the face of yellow clif& above Yenan, 
capital of Communist China. 

The education of Japanese captives by the Eighth Route Army 
began as early as 1938, but at that time it was carried on near the 
front, with the captives moving around with guerilla units and 
stopping temporarily at farmhouses and cave dwellings. System- 
atic study was difficult, but the captives, or students, as they are 
called by the Eighth Routers, were given pamphlets and books 

to read, and these were supplemented by informal conversations 
with Japanese-speaking political workers. Converted Japanese 
were encouraged to do propaganda work. At first they assisted the 
Chinese propaganda workers. Later they were given additional 
responsibilities, but, because of their lack of political background, 
they required constant assistance by the Chinese political workers. 

In November 1940 the Political Department of the Eighth 
Route Army established the Peasants' and Workers' School to 
answer its acute need for effective and self-reliant Japanese front- 
line propagandists. The school got ofT to ^ poor start. The first 
class comprised eleven students, only two of whom had any anti- 
fascist feelings. One of these was Susumu Takayama, who was 
later to become Superintendent of Education at the school. He 
was a former factory worker and stevedore who had been cap- 
tured while on a looting expedition in North China. He had 
received several months of indoctrination before the school had 
opened. The other anti-fascist student was Ken Mori, who was 
later to be elected to the People's Assembly in the Border Region. 
He had been teaching Japanese to the Chinese political workers 
in Yenan for some time prior to entering the school. 

The remaining students were new captives and were recalci- 
trant, frustrated and uninterested in their work. They gambled 
and sold the allowances given them by the Eighth Route Army. 
The two advanced students, together with the principal and 
teachers, who were all Chinese who had studied in Japan, 
attempted to win over the new captives, but were making slow 
progress. In December 1940 their efforts were strengthened by 
the arrival of a new group of students who had received initial 
indoctrination at the front. 

On May 15, 1941, the school had its formal inauguration in 
the Eighth Route Army Auditorium. Thousands of Eighth 
Route Army soldiers attended, and General Chu Teh, their com- 
mander-in-chicf, addressed the audience. He assured them that 
Japanese militarism would be defeated, that they could play an 
important role in building a new Japan, and that the Eighth 
Route Army would support them while they were studying to fit 
themselves for that role. Many of the wavering students were 
impressed by General Ghu's address, the enormous size of the 
meeting and the enthusiastic applause and welcome given them 
by the Chinese audience. As a result a better atmosphere was 
created at the school. 

The school reached a new level of effectiveness in the first half 
of 1943. By that time the Japanese students had made enough 
progress to take over virtually all the posts in the school, including 


teaching. This process of turning over the school to the Japanese 
was capped by the arrival of Susumu Okano in the spring of 1943 
and his 'assumption *>f the post of principal. In contrast to the 
recently trained students, Okano was an experienced political 
leader. During World War I he had been active in Bunji Suzuki's 
Fraternal Society after graduating from Keio University, and in 
1918 had gone to the London School of Economics. He returned 
to Japan in time to take part in the formation of the Japanese 
Communist Party in 1922, for which he was jailed. He spent most 
of the 'twenties in jail, but in 1931 he escaped from Japan to 
attend a Communist International Conference as a Japanese 
delegate. In 1935 he was elected a member of the Executive 
Committee of the Comintern in Russia, succeeding Sen Kata- 
yama, who had died of tuberculosis there in 1931. He arrived in 
Yenan in the spring of 1943, apparently by way of North China 
and perhaps Japan. With Okano's arrival the school went into 
high gear, with a systematic and effective curriculum. 

New students were warmly welcomed at the school by the 
older students. As soon as possible they were entertained at an 
informal get together with mass singing, Japanese dances, plays 
and recitations, with the new arrivals encouraged to take part. 
The new students had the rules of the school explained, but they 
were not strictly enforced at first. The new arrivals were dis- 
tributed to the various sections, which were housed in individual 
caves, so that they could be absorbed into the life of the school 
by the older students. 

Shortly after their arrival the students were addressed by 
Director Okano. The new captives were generally confused, be- 
wildered and frustrated. The Japanese army has not recognized 
prisoners of war, and consequently they felt themselves men with- 
out a country, or as they put it, "men who have died". In his 
lecture, Okano attempted to take advantage of this feeling that 
they had been cut off from their old life. He started out by telling 
them that he realized that they had never dreamt of coming to 
Yenan. They had come to North China with the belief that the 
Japanese army was fighting a just and holy war to liberate the 
Chinese people, but had found out differently through bitter ex- 
perience. Afl their sufferings and their families' sufferings had 
been caused by the militarists, who must be eliminated. Since a 
people's government could not retain the militarists' idea that a 
soldier must die rather than surrender, they would be able to 
return with honour to such a new Japan, and thus they could and 
must play an active role in overthrowing militarism and in the 
establishment of a new, people's government in Japan. 

He pointed out that they could only do this by studying to pre- 
pare themselves for this role. "All of you have died once", he 
stated. "If you accept this, as most of you undoubtedly do, and 
plan to live anew, you will be able to do anything. It will be in 
your power to realize the impossible. Cast away your prejudices 
and make new men of yourselves. Turn over a new leaf in life, 
and this time work for the people." 


The school was divided into beginning, intermediate and 
advanced classes, and all the student* started in the beginners' 
class, regardless of previous schooling. The school had three 
objectives: first, the destruction of the militarist ideology; second, 
the imparting of a new structure of ideas ; third, to combine this 
new structure of ideas with practical work. 

The beginners' class, which lasted about a month, was an 
attempt to ease the students into the routine of disciplined educa- 
tion, as well as to ease them out of the false ideas derived from 
militarist indoctrination. The main text was An Appeal to the 
Japanese People, a. pamphlet by Okano published on July 7, 1943, 
the sixth anniversary of the China War. This pamphlet declares 
that all the Japanese people have gained from the war has been 
"a sea of blood and tears, a mountain of military expenditures, 
bonds and taxes, physical collapse from overwork, restrictions, 
prisons and the slogans, lashes and swords of the militarists . . .". 
It calls Japan's war a "robber war" for the benefit of "the war- 
lords and the big capitalists at the expense of the Japanese 
people". In order to bring the war to an end, the pamphlet con- 
tinues, "First of all, the war-lords must be overthrown. It is only 
after this is done, that a genuine popular government of Japan, 
representing the people and supported by the people, can be 
established . . .". The war-lords can be overthrown, the pamph- 
let continues, by a "popular front" of the working people and 
the victims of the war. 

The pamphlet points out that Japan could not possibly win the 
war, and that after the defeat of Hitler the Allies would over- 
whelm Japan. "What do the militarists say to the people?" 
Okano asks. "They say: 'We must win the war, or our country 
shall become a British and American colony*. This is untrue. 
Everybody knows that the war was started not because Britain or 
America wants to change Japan into their colony, but because 
the Japanese war-lords and their associates want to seize the 
South Seas territories as their colonies. . . . 

"What we want now is not a military victory of the Government, 


but a defeat of it, the reason being that the so-called 'Greater East 
Asia War' is a war of the militarists and their associates, therefore 
the failure of such a war is their failure. Their collapse furnishes 
a good opportunity for us to establish our people's government, to 
construct a New Japan. It is a short cut to our victory. 

"Fellow countrymen! Work hard in the factories, railways, 
ships, offices, villages, schools, barracks and warships, not for the 
increase of production, but for its decline, not for the victory of 
the militarists, but for their downfall. This is your road to 

The study of this appeal took about a month, with students 
attending class twice a week for two-and-a-half-hour periods. 
In class the instructor read the text out loud and explained 
the contents. Frequently the pronunciation of the Japanese char- 
acters or ideographs had to be explained, since the average 
student had only a grade-school education. The pupils were en- 
couraged to ask questions, and the -instructor endeavoured to 
arouse interest by citing concrete examples. After class the students 
reviewed their lessons with the help of more advanced students. 

The intermediate class was titled "Political Common Sense'*, 
and lasted about four months. It represented an attempt to sub- 
stitute a factual materialist analysis of Japan's history and r61e in 
the war for the fantastic myths of "Japan's divine mission" which 
have been the stand-by of Japanese education both in and out of 
the army. The students were introduced to the concept of a 
"just war" and an "unjust war". The conflict between Japan and 
the United Nations was described as a "just war of liberation" for 
the United Nations and an "unjustifiable war of aggression" for 
Japan and the Axis. 

It was in this class that the Emperor was first discussed, and it 
was as a result of the general student reaction to attacks on the 
Emperor that Okano moderated his programme in this regard* 
The students were willing and even anxious to discuss the severe 
exploitation in Japanese factories, the poverty of the tenants, the 
oppressive conditions in the Japanese army and the baleful in- 
fluence of the %aibatsu, but when the instructors discussed the 
necessity for eliminating the Emperor system, the students gener- 
ally froze up and refused to comment. Reverence for the Em- 
peror is the last portion of the militarist ideology to give way ; 
and then, in most cases, only after many months of indoctrination. 


The objective of the advanced class was to train organizers and 
propagandists who were capable of working independently. Con- 

siderable emphasis was placed on the encouragement of self- 
reliance and initiative as preparation for anti-militarist activity at 
the front and for political work in Japan after the war. Theoretical 
and practical work were combined. One of the subjects discussed 
in the advanced class was what a people's newspaper should br 
like in Japan. They prepared themselves by writing articles and 
editorials for the Battle, a wall newspaper 'posted at the school. 
They got experience at research in the complete files of Japanese 
newspapers and magazines which they managed to ha% t smuggled 
through from Japanese-occupied territory. They also studied and 
wrote articles for the Yenan newspar-er, Liberation Daily. From 
the character of the articles contributed to the latter newspaper, 
it would appear that the graduates of the Yenan school ao not 
intend to go in for "Nice Nelly" journalism when they return to 
Japan, but intend to bring home to the Japanese people the 
atrocities committed by their army in China. 

In June 1939 [one account ran] I was with the Ohara 
Battalion of the Wataru Regiment, Homma Division, in a cam- 
paign on the Suiyuan-Ninghsia border. On one occasion I saw 
Sergeant Sakuma and Corporal Shimazu drag an old man, a 
young girl and a baby from a tiny shack. After a few moments' 
whispered conversation, the officers pointed a pistol at the old 
man and said : **You and your daughter saku, saku!. f " Then 
they stripped the man and the girl and tried to make the old 
man have sexual intercourse with his daughter. The man 
cursed and fought them, so they shot him. The girl screamed 
as they tore the baby from her and then forced her to the 
ground and stuffed pepper into her sexual organ. 

Another report in Liberation Daily was written by a captive 
named Tajima. 

In May 1940 the Third Company of the 3Qth Battalion, 
Ninth Independent Mixed Brigade, was garrisoned at Sanchiu 
in Chihsien, Shansi Province. One day Second Lieutenant Ono 
said to us : "You have never killed anyone yet, so today we shall 
have some killing practice. You must not consider the Chinese 
as a human being, but only as something of rather less value 
than a dog or cat. Be brave ! Now, those who wish to volun- 
teer for lulling pratice, step forward!" No one moved. The 
lieutenant lost his temper. "You cowards!!" he shouted. 
"Not one of you is fit to call himself a Japanese soldier. So no 
one will volunteer? Well then, I'll order you." And he began 
to call out names: "Otani Furukawa Ueno Tajima I" 
(My God me too !) I raised my bayoneted gun with trembling 


hands, and directed by the lieutenant's almost hysterical 
cursing I walked slowly towards the terror-stricken Chinese 
standing beside the pit the grave he had helped to dig. In my 
heart I begged his pardon, and with my eyes shut and the 
lieutenant's curses in my ears I plunged the bayonet into the 
petrified Chinese. When I opened my eyes again, he had 
slumped down into the pit. 'Murderer! Criminal!" I called 

The advanced students, in addition to writing up Japanese 
atrocities, interpreted and commented on news developments. 
They also drafted, edited and published leaflets, propaganda 
pamphlets and textbooks. In 1943 thirty-two kinds of leaflets, 
fourteen kinds of pamphlets and textbooks, 520,000 words in all, 
were circulated. The texts of the leaflets were radioed to forward 
bases, where they were printed and surreptitiously distributed 
among the Japanese troops. Up to the spring of 1943, when 
technical reasons made them impossible, broadcasts were made 
twice a week in Japanese from the Yenan radio station in an 
effort to reach botn Japanese soldiers and civilians in North 
China. Both the script- writing and the announcing were done 
by the students. 


The constant drive at the school was to accelerate the process 
by which the student sloughed off the customary feudal habits of 
blind submission and unquestioning acceptance and achieved the 
ability to think for, and act by, himseli, albeit against a back- 
ground of Marxist theory. One of the most effective techniques 
used to hasten this process of transformation was that of group- and 
self-criticism. Each student periodically reviewed and criticized 
his own work in the presence of his fellows, who bestowed praise 
and blame where due. Criticism of the new students was mild, 
but as they advanced in their education the self-examinations and 
group criticisms became more vitriolic and excoriating. Some- 
times the sessions became so merciless that sensitive ones shed 

Superintendent Takayama expressed the purpose of these ses- 
sions as follows : "All of us have died once, and we're now building 
the foundations of our new lives. We have made many mistakes 
before which we cannot afford to repeat. Furthermore, another 
system requires considerable change; and normally, bad points 
would crop up. These should be erased through group-criticism. 
Those who are criticized must improve themselves from that 

These criticism sessions generally took place with a group of 
students crowded around a charcoal brazier in one of the smoke- 
filled caves. One student criticized himself for being too conceited 
and not mixing well enough with the other students. Another 
was told that he was hypersensitive, still another that he had not 
forgotten his past and liked too much to recall drinking bouts and 
adventures in the red-light district of Tokyo. 

These sessions were carried on with rigour and candour, and 
would be an emotionally wearing experience for anv group ol 
students. It is all the more wearing on the Japanese, who are 
accustomed to telling one another what they think the other 
person would like to hear. 


The most convincing evidence of the effectiveness of the school 
was its ability to take specially trained spies, sent to Yenan with 
the purpose of killing Okano and conducting espionage, and con- 
vert them. The best picture of the impact of this education on the 
mind of a spy is provided by the story of Naoyuki Tanikawa, who 
after his confession became treasurer of the Yenan branch of the 
Japanese People's Emancipation League. 

Tanikawa was born into a poor peasant family ; after gradua- 
tion from primary school he became a messenger at a business 
firm, but Developed into a juvenile delinquent and was disowned 
by his parents. For about a year prior to his induction he lived 
as a hoDO. Immediately after conscription in 1940 he was shipped 
to North China, where he trained with the Suzuki Fourth Inde- 
pendent Brigade. One day his regimental commander, Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Kitagawa, called him to his quarters and made 
him a proposition : he was to be trained as a spy and permit him- 
self to be captured by the Eighth Route Army. "Your work will 
be as important as a whole division," Tanikawa was told. He was 
told that if he came back he would get joo yen, a decoration and 
a long furlough back home. If he failed his family would be well 
cared for and honoured in their community. Tanikawa liked the 
idea, for he craved excitement. By his own admission he had been 
fascinated by American gangster movies. 

In April 1941 he was sent to a school for spies at Yen-Ch'eng, 
Shansi, with twelve other soldiers from various units. They 
learned that their primary job was to counter the activities of the 
Japanese working with the Eighth Route Army. The latter had 
captured a great many Japanese during their Hundred-Regiment 
Offensive in 1940, and these captives were engaged in intensive 
propaganda work. During the three-month course the candidates 

were not given passes, were kept from mixing with other soldiers 
and from writing letters. They were better treated than the 
ordinary soldiers, were not slapped and had better food. 

During the course they were given a heavy dose of political 
indoctrination, with heavy emphasis on Japan's superiority to 
other countries, the justness of Japan's war aims and the like. 
They were told that the Chinese Communists took orders directly 
from Stalin, who was using them to conquer Japan and the whole 
Far East. They also received a technical training. They were 
trained to disguise themselves, to encipher messages, how to 
answer interrogations, how to poison the enemy with drugs and 
how to use knives and bayonets. They were told that they would 
make contact through Chinese liaison men, and were instructed 
in, how to exchange information by such simple signs as removing 
one's cap, mopping one's brow, or picking one's nose. They were 
impressed with the importance of their work, being told repeatedly 
that one spy was equal to thousands of troops. 

When Tanikawa received his orders to infiltrate into the 
Eighth Route Army area he travelled as the guard of a supply 
train and dropped out on the way. On the third day he saw some 
Eighth Route Army soldiers on a hill, and deliberately went out 
into the open to pick a water-melon. They shot at him. He 
feigned running away, tripped himself and was captured. One 
week after his capture he was turned over to Japanese propa- 
ganda workers. They treated him well and endeavoured to re- 
educate him through conversation and pamphlet study. 

He made only one contact with his Chinese liaison man. One 
evening Tanikawa was walking with a Chinese interpreter who 
had learned Japanese as a student in Japan, when he came upon 
his contact man disguised as a pedlar. Tanikawa bought some- 
thing and passed a marked piece of currency and received as 
change currency with the countersign marked on it. On the next 
evening he slipped the pedlar a message that he had arrived 

During his first months with the Eighth Route Army he had a 
number of experiences which caused him to weaken. One 
Japanese confessed to being a spy. Tanikawa was asked by the 
other Japanese to treat the confessed spy as a friend, but to keep 
an eye on him. Tanikawa feared that they suspected him and that 
he was being watched. 

In the spring of 1942 Tanikawa was sent to Yenan as a delegate 
to the Japanese Soldiers' Delegates Conference. At the Confer- 
ence the ex-soldiers expressed the grievances they had against the 
Japanese army and its leaders : the shippings and abuse they had 

suffered, the corruption of their officers, the poor, insufficient 
food and the like. These were collected in a pamphlet, Tht De- 
mands of the Soldiers, designed for propaganda work in the Japanese 
army. Tanikawa got interested in the work, and after the con- 
ference remained in Yenan and enrolled in the Peasants* and 
Workers' School. 

At first the school was rather difficult for him because he had 
not had any interest in politics and economics before. It absorbed 
his interest, however, because it was down to earth anc* explained 
why the downtrodden Japanese people suffered so. It haa a per- 
sonal meaning for him because he had felt dissatisfied with his lot 
and had become a bum and juvenile delinquent in revolt against 
it. His awakening, however, was maddening, for if he were com- 
pletely won over by the indoctrination he would become a traitor 
to the Japanese army and be exposed as a spy. He could not stay 
away from class regularly, and if he attended the lectures, his 
old world came tumbling down upon him. 

Then one day a conference was held on "The Problem of 
Spies". The advanced students declared that spies were soldiers 
who had been deceived by the militarists just as other soldiers 
were deceived. They told the newer students that they should 
expect more and more spies to attempt to infiltrate as the work of 
the Japanese anti-fascists became more effective. Therefore, all 
the students should keep on the alert for spies, but when they 
were discovered should not persecute them, but treat them kindly 
and attempt to re-educate them. Tanikawa felt that every remark 
was directed against him. 

Some time after this, some spies who escaped from the school 
were caught by Chinese peasants and were brought before the 
student body for questioning. The students reasoned with them, 
told them that they were being used by the militarists, and asked 
that they reveal what the Japanese army had ordered them to 
do. When they did they were taken back into the school and 
treated as friends. 

Time and again Tanikawa was moved to confess. He felt that 
even parents would not go to this extent to save their sons. But 
he feared that if he confessed, word might leak back to the 
Japanese army, and his family might suffer the consequences. 

Finally, in May 1943, a year and ten months after he "de- 
serted" to the Eighth Route Army, Tanikawa was called in by 
Kazuo Sugimoto, Political Affairs Director of the school, who had 
known him for over a year, and told him that there were incon- 
sistencies in his personal records. He was asked a few questions, 
and he asked for time to consider before answering them. He was 


not pressed, and one day he confessed completely. No issue was 
made of the matter, and subsequently Tanikawa became an 
active and influential leader of the Emancipation League. 


The final training-ground for those attending the school was in 
the front lines, where, working alongside the Eighth Route Army, 
they were able to develop their skills against the Japanese troops 
stationed in blockhouses and important towns in North China. 
By the end of 1944 about forty graduates of the school had gone 
into the field, taking as much as six months to travel by foot to 
advanced bases in Shantung peninsula, and almost a year to the 
New Fourth Army bases in the vicinity of Shanghai. 

At the front the propaganda work fell into three main cate- 
gories: written propaganda, such as leaflets and pamphlets, 
propaganda shouting", or the use of megaphones or loud- 
speakers against a stationary foe, and telephone conversations 
with Japanese army personnel over lines which the propagandists 
cut into. 

In all the propaganda work carried out the basic principle was 
to emphasize the urgent needs of the Japanese soldiers and to 
prove that Japan was doomed to defeat, as a means of fanning 
their discontent and dissatisfaction so as to cause internal strife in 
the Japanese army. The stand-by in pamphlet distribution was 
The Demands of the Soldiers, which is a compilation of all the gripes 
of the Japanese enlisted man. It was so effective that the Japanese 
army authorities issued orders strictly forbidding the soldiers to 
read it. In addition to this general pamphlet the propaganda 
workers issued leaflets adapted to the specific gripes in the units 
they were trying to demoralize and win over. In central Hopei a 
company commander was notorious for face-slapping. The pro- 
paganda workers learned of this and addressed a warning to him 
through handbills surreptitiously distributed around his post. 
Thereupon he stopped face-slapping. 

Even more effective than printed materials was the work of 
"shouting corps* 9 , which moved up within megaphone range of a 
Japanese blockhouse and harangued the inhabitants. This was 
dangerous work requiring strong protection, because they were 
generally in rifle-range, and on occasion an officer in charge of a 
blockhouse would order a sally. The method was particularly 
successful when one of the Japanese anti-fascists located a friend 
in the blockhouse. In the Taihehg area a propaganda worker 
named Kamada located his old outfit, including the sergeant 
commanding the blockhouse, who was an old friend from the 

same village. Once this sergeant was convinced that he was talk- 
ing to the friend he had long believed dead, he leaned over the 
blockhouse ramparts to talk with Kamada, creating a sensation 
among the troops under his command. 

Telephone- tapping had the same advantage of permitting 
direct conversation, in the course of which questions could be 
asked and answered. At the same time the danger was lessened 
and contact could be established with a number of blockhouses 
linked by the same telephone system. The best story of this tele- 
phone-tapping system of propaganda is that recounted by Harri- 
son Forman, and included by him in his Report from Red China. 
The story was told by Kobayashi, a propaganda worker and 
member of the Japanese People's Eipancipation League: 

"It was a bitter, blustery New Year's Eve. In pitch darkness 
we slithered along an icy mountain trail, each fearful lest an 
unwary step send him hurtling OV*T an unseen cliff. I was con- 
siderably worried about the precious telephone equipment that 
my Chinese guards carried on their backs in addition to their 
rifles and light machine-guns captured from the Japanese 
Army. The telephone set and the tools for tapping the strong 
points' telephone system were also booty. At last we reached 
our destination a roofless, burnt-out farmhouse barely two 
hundred yards from a Japanese strong point. We dare not light 
a fire for warmth, or even a candle for light. 

"On a propped-up three-legged table I set up my telephone 
set and leaned on my earphones waiting for the signal that 
would tell me that the Chinese trooper shinnying up a tele- 
phone pole out there in the dark had succeeded in his task 
which was to cut my line into the system connecting a web of 
strong points in that area. Our guard was deployed in the 
snow-covered vicinity, the sergeant moving from post tojxwt 
to keep his men on the alert. 

"At last the signal came. I looked at the luminous dial on 
my watch it was well on towards midnight. Just in time) I 
cranked my set four times. After a while a sleepy voice 
answered: 'Moshi! Moshif (Hello! Hello!). 

" 'Moshif Moshi!' I replied. 'Is that Number Four Strong 

" 'It is. Who is this?' 

" 'May I speak with Corporal Katayama?' I asked. I had 
been told that Katayama was a good man ; only a few davs 
before, he had reprimanded a man in his squad tor needlessly 
abusing a peasant. Presently Katayama came to the 'phone* 


" 'Is this Katayama-san?' 

" 'Hai this is Katayama. Who is this?' 

" *I just called to wish you a Happy Near Year,' I said. 'It's 
nearly midnight, you know.' 

" 'Why, of course so it is. I had intended to stay up for it, 
but I guess I must have dozed off. Thank you and a Happy 
New Year to you, too ; though I guess it isn't such a happy one, 
at that, is it? Brr-r-r-r! These North China winters are cold, 
aren't they? Say by the way, who is this? Headquarters?' 

" 'No. This is Kobayashi, a member of the Japanese 
People's Emancipation League.' 

"There was a long silence. Then I spoke again. 'Hello 
hello! Are you there?* 

" *//0t,' came the answer. But Katayama sounded a bit 
worried. I didn't want to frighten him off the line, so I spoke 
hurriedly: 'How did you like the comfort bags we sent you 

" "The comfort bags? Oh, yes I know what you mean. 
Did you send them?' 

" 'Yes. Were there enough for all of you?' 

"Yes, there were, thank you.' Then I heard him chuckle. 
'What is it?' I asked. 

" 'Oh, nothing just that our lieutenant was wild when he 
heard about them. He told us they would poison us!' He 
chuckled again. 'We made the puppets taste them first, you 
know.* I laughed with him. Then he sobered. 'You know,' he 
went on, 'I'm not supposed to talk with you.' 

"I said that I knew that, but that this was New Year's Eve, 
and we were both Japanese, and homesick for our loved ones at 
home. I heard him sigh heavily. 'And when shall we ever see 
them again?* he asked, as if to himself. 

VThis gave me the opening I was waiting for. I told him 
about myself how I had been wounded so badly that I was 
unable to commit suicide, which I thought was the honourable 
thing for a disabled Japanese to do. The Eighth Routers had 
picked me up on the battlefield, nursed me back to health, and 
even offered me my freedom. But by this time I had come to 
understand something of what they were fighting for. Other 
Japanese of the Japanese People's Emancipation League talked 
to me, and I decided to join them. Then I said : 'We, the 
Japanese People's Emancipation League, are as concerned 
about our families as you are. We want to stop this war that 
nobody wants and from which nobody will gain anything/ 

"At that, he was silent. Then he asked me to tell him about 

the J.P.E.L., and we went on talking for the better part of half 
an hour, until he said that someone was coming and he would 
have to ring off. 

"I then rang up Number Six and Number Nine and Number 
Seven Strong Points and talked with several more fellows* At 
Number Two an officer came into the room while I was talking 
to some of the men. He grabbed the telephone and started 
cursing me, ordering me to shut up and threatening to send out 
a party to hunt me down. I said quietly that I would take no 
orders from him and that it was such as he that I and my 
J.P.E.L. companions were fighting, and that if he led a party 
out we would not only tear up the telephone wires but also 
capture him alive. That made aim so mad that he nearly 
exploded ! He hung up and I went on with my telephoning/' 


This continued and effective psychological warfare, waged by 
men with an intimate knowledge 01' the mentality they have been 
trying to undermine, produced results. 

One of these was to start a trickle of deserters. In addition, 
intelligence reports reaching the Eighth Route Army indicated 
that several dozen deserters had been arrested by the Japanese 
army before they managed to surrender. Seven soldiers in the 
2iith Regiment of the Thirty-second Mixed Brigade attempted 
to go over to the Eighth Route Army in a unit, but were cap- 
tured by puppet troops and were sent back to their unit. Subse- 
quently three of them were shot and four were handed over to the 
military police. In the Sixty-ninth Division a soldier named 
Takahashi stole his platoon commander's pistol and attempted to 
desert. He, too, was arrested on the way and was handed over to 
the military police. 

There have been a number of cases where Japanese soldiers, 
apparently under the influence of the propaganda of the anti- 
fascists, have resisted the authority of their officers. In January 
1942 six soldiers in the Tenth Mixed Brigade requested their com- 
pany commander not to launch a punitive drive. When their 
request was not granted and, on the contrary, they were slapped 
by the officer, they fired on him with a light machine-gun. The 
company commander escaped to the outskirts of the city and re- 
fused to return to camp. Subsequently he was reprimanded by 
the regimental commander and committed suicide, while, of the 
six soldiers who made the request, three were shot and three were 
sentenced to life imprisonment. 

A platoon commander and a lance-corporal in the Second 

t8 3 

Mixed Brigade wer& very fond of slapping soldiers. One day the 
soldiers became fed up, and twenty of them gave the two non- 
coms a thorough thrashing. In the Thirty-sixth Regiment of the 
Third Mixed Brigade food was bad and served in insufficient 
quantity. Dissatisfaction resulted, and the soldiers staged a hunger 
strike, as a result of which the company commander was ques- 
tioned by his superiors. The food was improved. 

The Japanese arm}- authorities, concerned with these develop- 
ments, attempted to remedy them in a number of ways. They 
took to shifting men in and out of places in which they were pro- 
tractedly exposed to propaganda, but this was of dubious effec- 
tiveness, because it gave the anti-fascist propagandists new per- 
sonnel to propagandize. The army authorities also countered the 
anti-fascist propaganda by stepping up the military fascist in- 
doctrination. This indoctrination was filled with the following 
slogans : "We must fight to the end or we shall be oppressed and 
exploited by Great Britain and America, and suffer the same 
harsh fate as China." "Japan was never defeated, and we shall 
win this war." "We die in order to live, and life should be found 
in death." "Once captured by the enemy, you must commit 
suicide." "It is a disgrace for a military man to eat at the enemy, 
table." "Japanese in the Eighth Route Army are traitors to their 
fatherland. In addition to this, Special Service operatives were 
scattered throughout all the companies in North China to deter- 
mine what effect anit-militarist propaganda was having on the 

Wounded soldiers who could not walk, and thus might fall 
into the hands of the Eighth Route Army, were shot. 

The fury which the propaganda workers aroused in the 
Japanese militarists sometimes produced amusing incidents. 
Harrison Forman tells of a Major Matsumoto, commanding the 
Seventy-fifth Battalion of an Independent Mixed Brigade, who 
wrote to the Japanese propaganda workers promising them that 
if they were to return to the Japanese army he would guarantee 
that no harm would come to them. They replied that they were 
well treated by the Eighth Route Army and were fighting for 
something worth while. They countered by inviting the major to 
join them. He lost his temper and wrote once more, calling them 
traitors and threatening to shoot them on sight. He also wrote to 
the Eighth Route Army commander in that district, saying : "As 
one soldier to another, I demand that you send those men to me". 
The Chinese commander countered by ordering a surprise attack 
on the major's headquarters. The major's staff was captured, but 
he himself just managed to escape. The Japanese anti-fascists 

chalked on the wall of the headquarters: "Major Matsumoto 
we have returned; why have you run away?" 

In September 1944 a Japanese magazine published in North 
China declared that the work of the anti-fascists was "shaking the 
faith of the Japanese in sure victory and breeding disharmony and 
strife between the Japanese government and the people". 


From the cauldron of the war in China there have emerged a 
group of Japanese anti-fascists who are almost certain to loom as 
an important factor in the future oFjapan. 

. They are not many in number. The group accepting the anti- 
militarist programme of the Emancipation League in the early 
part of 1945 totalled 500. A little more than fifty were in Chung- 
king China, mostly under the leadership of Wataru Kaji, with the 
remainder in North China under Susumu Okano. Of these 500 
perhaps 200 have the determination, experience and ability to 
become effective organizers and publicists, while a handful have 
emerged as potential leaders. 

Two hundred, or even 500, anti-fascists seem very slight in 
number when compared with the over 70,000,000 Japanese they 
hope to influence. But this small band has had extensive oppor- 
tunity to study and discuss Japan's problems and to work out a 
programme as well as propaganda techniques to sell that pro- 
gramme. Even before japan's military might had suffered its 
most crushing setbacks, both the programme and the techniques 
had proved to be very successful in North China, where about 
80 per cent of the prisoners indoctrinated came to at least a pas- 
sive acceptance of anti-fascism. Most of the active and effective 
anti-fascists have expressed themselves as anxious to play their 
part in changing Japan and as ready to return there on their own 
initiative, without awaiting the invitation of the occupation 
authorities. What, then, are the character and programme of the 
Japanese People's Emancipation League to which these anti- 
fascists belong? 

The Emancipation League was established in January 1944 in 
Yenan at the suggestion of Susumu Okano. Pnor to that there 
had been a North China branch of the Japanese Anti-War 
League, which had been founded in Chungking. Both the Anti- 
War League and the Emancipation League had the same three- 
point programme : opposition to the war, the overthrow of the 
militarists, and the establishment of a democratic, people's 


government in post-war Japan. The prime difference was in the 
emphasis. By January 1944 the defeat of Japan was evident, and 
the Emancipation League was designed primarily to influence the 
character of Japan's post-war development. 

During the early part of 1945 the structure and approach of the 
Emancipation League resembled most closely some of the Com- 
munist-influenced resistance movements of Europe. It had a core 
of Communists, but these were a minority of about 25 per cent. 
There were only two full-fledged Japanese Communist Party 
members, because the Japanese Communist Party did not permit 
recruiting outside Japan proper, and only Okano himself and Jun 
Sawada, who escaped to North China from Japan in 1943, had 
belonged to the Communist Party in Japan. Not being able to 
ioin the Party itself, some of the students at Yenan organized a 
Communist League in June 1942. In the early part of 1945 it had 
slightly more than i oo members, including the majority of the 
most experienced propaganda workers. 

The Emancipation League itself was open to Communists, 
non-Communists and anti-Communists. What was required for 
membership was agreement with the basic programme advocating 
the end of the war, the overthrow of the militarists and the estab- 
lishment of a democratic Japan with improved conditions for 
peasants, industrial labourers and small business men. 

In short, this was a "people's front" organization, with a mini- 
mum programme designed to attract the widest possible accept- 
ance. Although the League advocated the extension of dem- 
ocracy in Japan, and in the Workers' and Peasants 1 School in 
Yenan the instructors attacked the role of the Emperor, opposi- 
tion to the Emperor was not made a condition for admission to 
the Emancipation League. 


As explained by Susumu Okano to American and British re- 
porters in the summer of 1944, the League programme for Japan 
envisaged a prolonged period of democratic capitalism. He indi- 
cated how remote he thought the possibility at socialism was for 
Japan by telling one reporter, "I only hope to see a democratic 
Japan during my lifetime". 

Okano advocated the establishment of democracy in Japan by 
overthrowing die militarists and purging both them and the poli- 
ticians responsible for the war. Thereupon the Government was 
to be liberalized by instituting universal suffrage, giving the 
people full democratic rights and limiting the power of the mon- 
archy. "We don't want an Emperor," Okano told Guenther 

Stein, "but rather a President elected by the people." But he was 
opposed to any drastic move on that front at once. "The Em- 
peror is still too much of a godlike figure to a good many Japanese 
for us to shout 'Down \vith die Emperor!* at this moment,*' he 
told Harrison Forman. He made it clear that he felt that Hiro- 
hito himself had a considerable personal responsibility for the 
war, and that the League would not oppose any Allica attempt 
to try him as a war criminal. 

On the economic side, Okano favoured placing "large-scale 
monopoly capital" under Government control, and a shift to 
diversified, peace-time industries. As a first step towards the 
solution of the land problem he advocated the purchase of the 
land of the absentee landlords, the land to be made available on 
easy terms to land-hungry peasants, with the title retained by the 
Government. He also advocated a sharp improvement in the 
conditions of industrial labourers by the institution of an eight- 
hour day, collective bargaining, recognition of the right to 
organize unions and to strike. 


This moderate programme, together with the other activities 
of Kaji,- Okano and their followers, constitutes a direct challenge 
to Allied political intelligence. 

The greatest asset the League possesses is its confidence that the 
common people of Japan can be won away from militarism pro- 
vided that there is a complete debunking of the entire militarist 
ideology and its replacement by a programme with personal 
meaning for the great majority of the Japanese. 

This ability to reach the common people need not be a mono- 
poly of the League. Those who fear that the Emancipation 
League or any outgrowth of it may grow overstrong can take 
comfort in the realization that the League will succeed only in so 
far as other Japanese groups abdicate in the field of social welfare. 
Thus, by encouraging other, more moderate, groups to come for- 
ward with a programme answering the people's needs, it is pos- 
sible to develop a popular leadership with a wider orientation. 
Similarly, the great majority of the population is likely to lean 
towards die Soviet Union only if the United States and Britain ignore 
the problems of the peasant, labourer and small business man and show an 
interest only in the remnants of the old ruling group. 

It would seem wise, therefore, to facilitate the broadening out 
of the anti-militarist forces by encouraging the emergence of 
democratic and humanitarian groups ana individuals desirous of 
reforming Japan. In order to encourage their emergence it will 


probably be necessary to make it perfectly clear that the occupy- 
ing authorities look with favour upon those groups who want to 
help both Japan and the rest of the world by seeking to eradicate 
the basic causes of war. It will probably also be necessary to see 
to it that they are protected against the vengeance of the military 

As in Italy and other European countries reclaimed from 
fascism, it will probably be possible to form a broad coalition of 
political groups agreeing on a minimum programme of purging 
the forces of militarism and aggression, breaking the mono- 
polistic stranglehold of the giant trusts and expediting the emer- 
gence of political and economic democracy. Internally this would 
have the signal advantage of mobilizing the greatest number of 
those desirous of reforming Japan. Internationally it would mini- 
mize friction among the major allies by harnessing those sym- 
pathetic to Western democratic and Soviet ideals to the same 
task. Nothing can be more desirable than effective internal re- 
form, carried out with the agreement of the major Powers. 



1 HE SACRIFICES of those whose blood has reddened the Pacific 
demand not only that Japan's surrender be unconditional, but 
that the peace be lasting. 

The entire parade of shameful episodes in Japan's modern 
history points to the inescapable conclusion that the only safe 
course of action for the United Nations is the encouragement of 
a thoroughgoing purge of all the forces which have made its name 
synonymous with treachery, brutality and rapaciousness. A 
fundamental and lasting change in Japanese policy cannot be 
expected until Japan has undergone a sweeping democratic 
transformation and a complete recasting of its political and 
economic leadership. 

The most immediate steps in the direction of securing a peaceful 
Japan consist of: stripping Japan of its military and naval forces; 
restricting and supervising its industries; punishing its war 
criminals; and its military occupation and subsequent super- 
vision. But any system of international punishment which is 
purely penal and not corrective can be neither effective nor lasting. 
The terms applied to Germany in the Versailles Treaty were not 
1 88 

wanting so much in severity as they were in their failure to correct 
Germany's basic drive to war. The real key to lasting peace lies 
in the reorientation of Japan's entire political and economic 

There can be no dispute with the necessity for the strengthening 
of the international security organization. But the development 
of ^ trustworthy Japan, which is not continually motivated to- 
wards war, is a vital corollary to the establishment of a collective 
security system in the Pacific. Attempts to eliminate the internal 
causes of war in chronic aggressor nations should play as im- 
portant a part in international peace efforts as preventive medi- 
cine does in a comprehensive scherie of public health. If this is 
not done, if we leave Japan with an economy and a leadership 
which are basically incapable of solving its problems peacefully, 
this leadership will seek out any and every loophole in the still 
emerging system of world security, to re-establish Japan as a 
divisive force and a threat to world peace. 

Therefore, in order that they may be effective and lasting, the 
measures applied must have as their objective the development of 
a trustworthy Japan. And it is not enough to mouth phrases 
about wanting a Japan which can "live in peace with its neigh- 
bours" or enter into "the fellowship of international society". 
What is required instead is a comprehensive idea of the changes 
in Japan's political and economic structure which will eliminate 
the source of aggression, instead of merely forcing it underground 
for a few years. Many people have described Japanese militarism 
as a cancer. Too few have emphasized the danger of removing it 
without destroying its roots. 


One of the greatest dangers in our programme for Japan lies 
in the avid search for superficial solutions. Deliberately or not, 
the bulk of the Japan specialists in London and Washington seem 
intent on ignoring the direct relationship between the basic faults 
in the Japanese structure and the long series of wars which have 
resulted from them. Their plans are permeated with expressed 
desires to encourage the emergence of a peaceful Japan, but are 
lacking in any manifest willingness to alter the economy and 
political structure which have given rise to war. The specific 
features which are listed for elimination are almost always the 
symptoms rather than the disease itself. Militarism and the 
jingoist organizations which spearheaded it are listed for liquida- 
tion, but the oppressive conditions in agriculture which have pro- 
duced the most rabid young military fascists apparently arc to 30 

untouched. War industries are to be dismantled or transferred, 
but the domination and exploitation of the economy by the 
aggressive economic imperialists, the gaibatsu, may be allowed 
to remain. 

One of the outstanding examples of this desire to " reform " 
Japan painlessly is the attitude taken towards the educational 
system by some conservative Japan specialists. Mr. Wilfred 
Fleisher, who frequently mirrors the views of State Department 
conservatives, gave his views on Japanese education on a broad- 
cast of the "Town Meeting of the Air" in March 1945. 

"Education in Japan has been a matter of high policy," Mr. 
Fleisher declared. "The Government provides an official nega- 
tive from which millions of prints are made. Our main task will 
be to see to it that a new negative is provided one that will 
teach the Japanese that Japan's mission is not a divine one of 
conquest, but to take a law-abiding place in the society of 

Mr. Fleisher's intentions are fine and his figure of speech very 
effective, but unfortunately it implies a substantial retention of 
the present education organization. It is hard to conceive of a 
more dangerous illusion than to think that "our main task" will 
have been accomplished once a "new negative" (presumably 
meaning new textbooks) is provided. In any educational system 
organized to inculcate a particular set of ideas not only is it neces- 
sary to have textbooks and syllabi emphasizing the doctrine de- 
sired, but also it is vital to have teachers and administrators who 
are advocates of the ideology to be propagated. The oligarchy in 
Japan has made every effort to achieve both objectives, and aur- 
ing the last twenty years there have b^en repeated purges of the 
school system specifically designed to eliminate anti-militarists. 

It should be obvious that such an educational system so care- 
fully geared to militarist needs cannot be thrown into reverse by 
a flip of the wrist, the appointment of a few foreign advisers or the 
banning of a few particularly obnoxious books. We cannot effect 
a fundamental change in policy without a drastic reorientation 
of the entire educational system, accompanied by a counter- 
purge of those who have been most active in militarist and jingoist 
indoctrination. It is true that this is a difficult task, but it is not 
impossible because there were hundreds of American and British 
teachers scattered through Japan, and they are sufficiently familiar 
with educational personnel in the areas in which they taught to 
point out the ringleaders in militarist education as well as the 
anti-militarists who were expelled from their positions or terror- 
ized into silence. 

In the long run the occupation of Japan will be briefer and 
more effective if we recognize at the outset that we cannot 
accomplish major changes in policy without major changes in 
structure and personnel. This is true of the entire structure of the 
Japanese Government. It is true, of course, that occupation 
authorities frequently prefer to take over a "going concern", in 
order to keep essential services going and make it possible to have 
things run smoothly. This is not only expedient, but particularly 
wise when for military or other reasons it is imperative to avoid 
interruption. It is perfectly unobjectionable when necessity dic- 
tates provided that we do not delude ourselves into believing 
that the "going concern'* is going in our direction ! 


Many specialists in the field explain their reluctance to change 
the status quo in Japan in terms of maintaining "order" and 
"stability". This, too, is a dangerous illusion, for the old order is 
basically unstable; and a policy of support for its leaders, far 
from being conducive to civil peace and moderation, is likely to 
encourage extremism and civil war. 

Even before the war, the inability of the leaders of the old 
regime to find a peaceful solution for the economic problems of 
the great majority of Japanese resulted in deep unrest among 
professionals, small business men, the peasantry and the industrial 
workers. Faced with this, the oligarchy of giant trusts, parasitic 
landlords, militarists, anti-democratic bureaucrats and feudal 
aristocrats have maintained their position by the combined 
repressive power of the police, army and the hoodlums of the 
jingoist societies, and by periodic recourse to war. 

The denouement of Japan's defeat has been accompanied by a sub- 
stantial weakening of the hold of the ruling oligarchy over the 
population. The glowing promises of prestige, power and pros- 
perity have- been replaced with the bitter reality of starvation, 
searing death and ignominious defeats. Together with growing 
disillusionment has come a weakening of the ability of the 
Government to stifle criticism. War-time defeats and post-sur- 
render dissolution of the army will remove the most powerful 
weapon of the Old Gang. The nationalistic propaganda of the 
jingoist societies will be discredited by defeat, and they will be 
driven deep underground. Consequently the autocratic old order 
will be left with only the police to hold back the rising tide of 

This tide is bound to rise, if defeat is not accompanied by exten- 
sive reforms. The peasantry will remain saddled with the burdens 

of high interest, semi-feudal rents and monopoly-priced fertilizers. 
Industrial workers will still receive microscopic wages for work 
under inhuman conditions without the protection of adequate 
social legislation or unions of their own choosing. Small business 
men willremain virtually impotent against the tremendous power 
of the %aibat$u, and professionals will go hungry or sell their con- 
sciences for their daily rice and little else. And none of these will 
be able to make their voices effectively heard in the political 
scene because of the obstacles inherent in the anti-democratic 
constitutional structure, with the Emperor at its apex. 

It would seem reasonable to assume that the Old Gang can 
retain power only if it combines* the co-operation of the Allied 
occupation authorities with thorough exploitation of the Em- 
peror's prestige and maximum use of police repression. But this 
procedure would have the effect of repressing and terrorizing only 
many of the more moderate critics of the regime. It is not likely 
to eliminate the radical organizations which have persisted despite 
long years of continuous persecution. The upshot of the con- 
tinuation of an old order incapable of solving any of the popula- 
tion's problems but willing to use repression against a rising tide 
of discontent is likely to be a bloody civil war. This is hardly a 
result to be anticipated from a policy advocated as a means of 
preserving "stability" and "order" ! 


The United Nations have an alternative to supporting those 
who would tread a slightly refurbished version of Japan's old 
road. It is within their power to facilitate the construction of 
that broad new road to self-purification, political democracy, 
economic reform and international peace. 

During the past three-quarters of a century a wide range of 
groups have sporadically attempted to pioneer this new road. 
Virtually every sally has been beaten back, and those who have 
dared to pioneer have paid with their jobs and their health, and 
even with their lives, for their daring. Long years of repression 
have decimated the ranks of these pioneers, but new recruits have 
come forward to take the places of those who have fallen or have 
been terrorized into silence. 

The total number of those who consciously seek to have Japan 
move ahead along this new road is certainly a minority at pre- 
sent. But, for that matter, so is Japan's ruling oligarchy. The 
important fact about the anti-militarist minority is that they are 
capable of forming the nucleus of a broad democratic movement 
representing the majority of the people, and capable of carrying 

through reforms which arc in the interest not only of the people 
of Japan, but also of the United Nations as a whole. 

While it would be the depth of political ineptitude to overlook 
these elements of opposition to the old regime, it would be the 
height of over-optimism to suggest that these aavocates of a new 
Japan can carry through a renovation by themselves. There can 
be little doubt that the weakening of the old regime through de- 
feat will provide additional opportunities for the opposition. But 
the old order has the weight of wealth, social position, experience, 
international connections and inertia to support it. The suppor- 
ters of the old order control the police and other portions or the 
State apparatus, and can hide beKind the "august virtue" of the 
throne. The opponents of the regime, on the other hand, arc 
little known. Some have been dismissed from their positions, 
others have kept a careful anonymity, others have spent years in 
prison. Police espionage and repression have made it impossible 
to maintain effective organization. 

The lesson is clear. There is a minority capable of carrying 
through a democratic transformation, but only with our sympathetic 
assistance. Therefore the decision rests with us. We cannot impose 
a democratic system on Japan, but we can, by facilitating the 
activities of those who wish to carry through democratic reforms, 
accomplish the same end. 

The support and encouragement of anti-militarist elements 
have been attacked by some as "meddling'' or "undue interfer- 
ence". We apparently can intervene in the affairs of fascist 
nations to the extent of invading their lands at the expense of 
hundreds of thousands of lives, but not to the extent of enabling 
them to achieve the kind of governments which will make it 
unnecessary to repeat the sacrifice twenty years hence ! 

In order to create conditions which will facilitate the emer- 
gence of a democratic government, it is necessary to be very severe 
and very sympathetic at the same time. The best way to divert 
Japan's efforts into constructive channels is to erect road-blocks 
against efforts to lead Japan along its old road, and to pave the 
way for those who want to push forward to a new and democratic 
Japan, or, to paraphrase a popular song of the recent past, we 
must eliminate the negative and accentuate the positive elements 
in Japan. 


A task which is decisive for the emergence of democratic 
forces, and which at the same time should cause us special satis* 
faction, is the purging of those elements which have been respon- 

G (D.I.J.) '93 

sible for the war and its barbarous crimes. The elements in 
Japanese life most active in bringing on the war, and most respon- 
sible for hideous war crimes against Allied military men and 
civilians, have also been the most active and ruthless opponents 
of those Japanese who preferred political and economic reform to 
external aggression. Consequently, a thorough-going punishment 
of the militarists and their civilian collaborators will not only 
teach the Japanese a lesson in international morality, but also 
remove dangerous elements from the political life of Japan at a 
time when they can do the utmost damage. 

The trial of military fascists and other war criminals is one of 
the most important means of revealing to the Japanese people 
how they were led into the war, by whom and for whose benefit. 
Some observers apparently believe that revulsion against mili- 
tarism and contrition on the part of the Japanese is to be expected 
as an automatic accompaniment to defeat. This viewpoint over- 
looks the fact that for some years the Japanese have been sub- 
jected to an unending barrage of official propaganda which, in 
the absence of any contrary information, has convincingly pictured 
Japan as defending hapless East Asia against the imperialist de- 
signs of the Allies. Correctly utilized, these trials of war criminals 
can serve to illuminate the real causes of the war and the barbaric 
cruelty inflicted by the militarists. 

Many Japanese will probably offer the excuse repeated so fre- 
quently by the Germans that the crimes were committed under 
orders. Many of the individual war crimes, of course, have not 
been committed under orders, but have merely been officially 
tolerated. But even those crimes which were ordered cannot be 
condoned. This is important, not only on moral grounds, but 
because unless the Japanese learn individual responsibility for 
tficir actions, there is little hope for a firm democratic structure 
in which the people will not be led, robot-like, to slaughter. 

The trials can also serve to counteract the notion, widely dis- 
seminated by the Japanese propagandists, that the war is racial 
in character. We should make it clear to the Japanese that, if we 
single out certain Japanese leaders as war criminals and punish 
them severely for their atrocities, we are not punishing them 
because they arc Japanese, but because of their crimes, and that 
we have applied exactly the same standards in punishing Ger- 
man war criminals. It also would be wise to point out the fact 
that Japanese war criminals who tortured and killed Allied fliers 
also tortured and killed those of their own countrymen who 
opposed them. 

There are fundamentally two types of war criminals. The first 

includes individuals who order or participate in atrocities* The 
second comprises political and economic leaders who are re- 
sponsible for the whole act of aggression, of which the atrocities 
are but one aspect. The simpler and more obvious category of 
war criminals comprises those who have committed crimes against 
the rules of war such as the maltreatment of war prisoners and 
wounded, or offences against the lives, health, honour and 
property of enemy civilians. A great number of the military 
fascists fall into this category, and their liquidation will constitute 
a major contribution to a peaceful Pacific and a new Japan. 
Since September 18, 1931, the Japanese military fascists and their 
accomplices have been responsible for a wide range of crimes, 
including the rape of Nanking, the ravaging of Hong Kong, the 
"Death March" of Bataan, the beheading of captured aviators, 
cannibalism directed against Australian prisoners in New Guinea 
and literally thousands of other crimes no less horrible. By com- 
bining the information available to the American, Chinese, 
British, Australian, Philippine and Dutch authorities, it should 
be possible to bring to swift justice a considerable number of the 
militarists who do not deprive us of that pleasure by eliminating 
themselves. We must be careful not to limit our search for those 
guilty of crimes against the rules of war to the armed forces of 
Japan. The role of the secret political police (known as the Tok- 
koka) is every whit as sinister as the Nazi Gestapo, and. there is 
nothing that Himmler's organization could have taught it in 
ruthlessness of methods or its use of every conceivable torture. 
Many of the key members of the jingoist societies can also be 
caught up in the war-atrocities dragnet. In the course of their 
lurid histories of espionage, terrorism and propaganda they have 
organized gangs of terrorists in China and Manchuria who have 
tortured, despoiled and murdered Chinese who resisted Japanese 

A more difficult and important category of undesirables com- 
prises those who were not personally responsible for specific 
atrocities, but who killed millions of people just as surely by 
actively planning, supporting and expediting Japanese aggression. 
This would take in virtually every policy-making official in the 
Japanese Government in the last ten years including Prince 
Konoye, who led Japan into the China War, as well as almost all 
the leaders of the giant trusts. Those who do not merit a death 
sentence should at least be stripped of their ill-gotten wealth and 
kept from polluting the political atmosphere by imprisonment or 
exUe to some bleak but well-guarded island. 

Undoubtedly the most dangerous of the elements of the old 


order will be the leaders of the gaibatsu. They will seek to survive 
by abandoning the militarists, in order to win another chance to 
reconstitute the aggressive power of Japan. It is infinitely more 
difficult to pin guilt on a business leader than on an army com- 
mander. Furthermore, they will overwhelm us with their friend- 
liness, claiming they never wanted war and only profited from it 
with bleeding hearts. They will come in droves, carrying their 
diplomas from American and British universities, to offer their 
services to the Allied occupation authorities. 

But a surrender which would leave this group of economic 
imperialists in power would fall far short of victory. The indus- 
trial monopolists have worked long and ardently for Japanese 
domination of East Asia. They have both supported and profited 
from aggression. Consequently punishment must not stop at 
removal of Japanese political and military leaders, but must in- 
clude Japan's aggressive economic leadership as well. 

Furthermore, the Daihatsu will attempt to maintain unchanged 
the internal conditions which were the economic, mainspring 
for Japan's campaigns of conquest. To eliminate the risk of 
another war, the structure and control of the Japanese economy 
must be so altered that it cannot serve the purposes of war. 
This is as fundamental as military occupation and political 

In the field of politics the greatest single political obstacle to 
democracy, and the greatest headache for both progressive 
Japanese and the United Nations as a whole, is the future role of 
the Emperor institution. It is an obstacle to democracy, an incen- 
tive to war and an excuse for atrocities. Democracy is possible 
only where the people are sovereign. For the past three-quarters 
of a century virtually every attempt to achieve democratic 
advances has run head-on into the thick wall of imperial sov- 
ereignty. Permanent peace is possible only when the concept of a 
"master race" has been erased. The Emperor cult, or State 
Shinto, has persuaded the Japanese, as Nazism persuaded the 
Germans, that they are a nation with a "divine mission' * to rule 
the world. Death on the battlefield is acclaimed as the highest 
attainment, and the most bestial tortures are condoned, because 
both are done in the name of the Emperor. 

We can begin to undermine this dangerous institution during 
the period of military occupation. The occupation authorities 
have full justification for banning any textbook or publication 
that maintains that Japan has a "divine mission*' to rule the 
world. Since it has already been made clear that any dissemina- 
tion of the parallel Nazi dogma of "Aryan supremacy" is intoler- 

able, there seems to be little reason to accord any special privileges 
to the Japanese. 

Because of the firmly entrenched character of the institution, 
it is not enough merely to remove its most aggressive superstruc- 
ture. We must demolish it completely, foundations and all. The 
main foundation of the institution is the hold that it has developed 
upon the Japanese people, as a result of more than a half-century 
of intensive indoctrination. All the evidence available at present 
indicates that not one Japanese in fifty has a sceptical attitude 
towards the throne. 

Primary attention, therefore, must be concentrated on the task 
of discrediting the throne and dispelling the aura of sacrcdness 
with which the oligarchy has surrounded it. One way to accom- 
plish this is for the occupation authorities to encourage the pub- 
lication of literature critical of the Emperor institution. Another 
method is to name Emperor Hirohito as a war criminal. 

Emperor Hirohito can and should be tried as a war criminal. 
As chief of State and commandcr-in-chief of the armed forces, he 
has been legally responsible for unprovoked aggression and un- 
speakable atrocities. An Allied bill of particulars, charging the 
Emperor with criminal complicity in the war, will corne as a 
needed psychological shock to the Japanese. It will serve a useful 
purpose even if it only provokes prolonged discussion in Japan on 
the merits of the institution and its occupant during the past two 
decades. Out of such discussions can develop rational and critical 
attitudes capable of dispelling the aura of sacredncss. 

A further step in this direction is to reveal to the Japanese 
people that the Imperial Household, as a great landowner and 
substantial member of the aibatsu t is an integral part of the 
economic oligarchy which has denied them adequate living 

A permanent abolition of the throne one which will last be- 
yond the withdrawal of occupation forces can come only as a 
result of action by the Japanese people themselves. Therefore the 
most vital and positive step in this direction is the strengthening 
of the natural opponents oithe throne those who favour popular 
sovereignty against imperial sovereignty. When a substantial 
portion of the population recognizes that the institution is an 
obstacle to progress and plenty, the Japanese themselves will 
raze it to the ground. 


A programme adequate to the task of reorientating a nation 

cannot be purely negative in character. It is essential to discredit, 

K 197 

isolate and extirpate the aggressive elements of the old regime, 
but that alone is not sufficient. It is not enough to eliminate the 
militarists and their civilian collaborators and to convince the 
Japanese people that their bitter fate is a direct result of the evils 
of the old order. A purely negative programme leads to sullenness, 
despair and apathy. 

The Japanese not only must be won away from the old, they 
must be turned towards the new. They must realize that there is 
a real alternative, that something new and better can be built on 
the ashes of the old. A major part of this task will have to be 
done by forward-looking Japanese, but we can immeasurably 
facilitate their work in a number of ways. 

We have already made it clear that we do not intend to destroy 
or enslave the Japanese people. We should also make it clear that 
we do not intend to keep Japan in a state of lasting political or 
economic subjection, and that when the Japanese have proved 
themselves to be trustworthy they will be given an opportunity to 
re-enter the community of nations. 

The most important contribution the United Nations can make 
to the achievement of a democratic Japan is through encouraging 
the development of those groups and individuals most intent on 
introducing the political, economic and social reforms requisite 
to democratization. One of the main problems of the United 
Nations forces occupying Japan, as in Germany, revolves around 
selecting suitable personnel for various positions of trust. By 
selecting persons with a consistent record of opposition to mili- 
tarism and dedicated to measures that will uproot the old regime 
we simultaneously provide ourselves with trustworthy associates 
and give potential democratic leaders the experience and prestige 
which they require. 

There are a number of other ways in which we can facilitate 
the efforts of genuine anti-militarists to enlist popular support for 
a programme of purification and reform. We can and should 
abolish all repressive and anti-democratic legislation. Further- 
more, during the period of military occupation the occupying 
authorities have control over the radio, press and public gather- 
ings. Allowing the anti-militarists to have access to the radio and 
press, and permitting them to hold public meetings, while dis- 
couraging the anti-democratic and pro-militarist elements, would 
be of signal importance. Similarly, the occupying authorities 
will have the opportunity to assist and encourage the work of 
trade unions, peasant leagues, professional associations, small 
business men's groups and other popular organizations which 
are certain to emerge. 

A close study of Japan's recent history demonstrates that a core 
of conscious democrats and genuine anti-militarists is to be found 
in four groups : among small business men who seek to break the 
crushing hold of the ^aibaisu and the burden of war-time taxation, 
among professionals opposed to militarism and favouring dem- 
ocracy and the opportunities it provides for full use of their skills, 
among industrial labourers seeking democracy and the oppor- 
tunities for improving their living standards and among peasants 
interested in throwing off the yoke of a semi-feudal and parasitic 

This core of forward-looking individuals do not all agree on 
ultimate objectives or on tactics. Their political orientation 
divides them into parliamentary democrats, social democrats, 
agrarian reformers, socialists and communists. Despite these 
differences, there is a wide area of political and economic agree- 
ment, an area more than ample for the formation of an effective 
and fairly stable coalition. It is of the greatest moment for us 
that the fundamental points of agreement within this potential 
coalition represent not only the interests of the majority of the 
Japanese people, but also those of the United States and the 
other United Nations. }n sum they call for political democracy, 
the creation of a welfare economy and the maintenance of peace. 

We are sure to be tempted with the hope that we can build a 
new Japan on a narrower basis ignoring the peasant and labour 
leaders. This would be both dangerous and self-defeating. The 
task of reforming Japan is sufficient in scope to command the 
assiduous and co-operative efforts of all democrats and anti- 
fascists. We cannot afford to ignore popular leaders with a 
following among the common people, for it is the latter who must 
be the foundation of a new, democratic Japan. Should we en- 
courage division among the forward-looking elements, we incur 
the risk not only of dissipating their efforts, but also of establishing 
a new area of conflict among the United Nations. 

We are also sure to be tempted with the hope that a new Japan 
can emerge purely on the basis of political reforms and without 
the "turmoir' and "chaos" of agrarian reforms and the like. This 
is the most dangerous illusion. Man does not live by bread (or 
rice) alone, but neither can he stay alive on a strict diet of ideas. 
Democracy and peace can only be sold in Japan if they are 
linked witn enough rice. 

Agrarian reforms are an absolute prerequisite for a democratic 
and peaceful Japan. If he does not receive land and a fair return 
therefrom, the peasant will remain a potential recruit for the 
forces of fascism and war. If he receives land from a democratic 


Japanese government, with the support and encouragement of 
all the United Nations, he will become a defender of the govern- 
ment which gave him land and a friend of those countries which 
encouraged it. A narrow and negative policy on our part, there- 
fore, will not only undermine the political support for a demo- 
cratic government and leave untouched one of Japan's most 
serious founts of aggression, but it will also leave the field open 
for other governments to gain the friendship of the Japanese by 
sponsoring such reforms. 

Many have described Japan after defeat as a "political 
vacuum". It should be remembered that a positive and dynamic 
force flows more rapidly into a vacuum than a negative force or 
no force at all. 


The burden of decision falls upon us. Ours is the heavy respon- 
sibility and the glowing opportunity to decide whether we shall 
leave Japan little better than it was before Pearl Harbour or 
help launch it upon a new road, 

The task of paving the way for the emergence of a Japan with 
a peaceful and democratic orientation will be a major test of our 
maturity and enlightenment in the sphere of international affairs. 
Its successful accomplishment will require courage, vision and a 
type of social engineering on an international scale which is 
unprecedented for the United States. Should we attempt it and 
succeed in any measure, it will establish the United States as the 
political and moral leader of the Pacific. 

Almost unconscious of their magnitude, we have conquered the 
tremendous problems of the war. In a half-dozen years, starting 
virtually from scratch, we have become the greatest military 
power of the world. We have overcome almost insuperable prob- 
lems of production and logistics. We have landed on enemy shores 
in the teeth of the most tenacious and murderous resistance. 

Our war-time achievements beggar our post-war problems. 
Yet, without an adequate solution of these problems, our military 
victories become incomplete and fleeting. 

In Japan our military victories can only be translated into 
permanent peace by uprooting aggression and pointing the way 
to democracy and peace. In the memory of those who died to 
restore the Pacific to its name, we can do no less. ' 


A Short Bibliography for the General Reader 

ALLEN, G. C. : Japan: The Hungry Guest. 1938. 
BISSON, T. A, : Japan in China. 1938. 

America's Far Eastern Policy. 1945. 

BORTON, H. : Peasant Uprisings in Japan. 1938. 

CHAMBERLIN, W. H. : japan over Asia. 1938. 

DEPARTMENT OF STATE : Foreign Relations of the United States : 

Japan, 1931-1941. Vols. 1 and II. 1943. 
GREW, J. C. : Ten Tears in Japan. 1044. 
HARINO, D. G. : Blood on the Rising Sun. 1943. 
HOLTOM, D. C. : The National Faith of Japan. 1938. 
ISHIMOTO, BARONESS SHIDZU: Facing Two Ways. 1935. 
JOHNSTONE, W. C. : The Future of Japan. 1945. 
LAMOTT, W. C. : Nippon: The Crime and Punishment of Japan. 1944. 
LATTIMORE, OWEN: Solution in Asia. 1945. 
MAKI, J. M. : Japanese Militarism; Its Cause and Cure. 1945. 
NEWMAN, J. : Goodbye Japan. 1942. 

NORMAN, E. H. : Japan's Emergence as a Modern State. 1940. 
REISCHAUER, R. K. : Japan, Government Politics. 1939. 
SANSOM, G. B. : Japan: A Short Cultural History. 1952. 
TANIN, O., and IOGAN, E. : Militarism and Fascism in Japan. 1934. 
TOLISCHUS, O. D. : Tokyo Record. 1943. 
UTLEY, F. : Japan's Feet of Clay. 1937. 
WILDES, H. E. : Social Currents in Japan. 1927. 
YOUNG, A. M. : Japan in Recent Times. 1929. 



ABE, Dr. Iso, 137, 148 

"Account of Informal Conversations, 

etc.", 4 

Adjustment of Enterprises Law, 65 
Agriculture, 113-20, 126-9, I 9 
Aikawa, Gisuke, 64 
Aikokusha, 122 
Aircraft industry, 63, 64 
Akahata, 128 

Akamatsu, Katsumaro, 148 
All-Japan Peasants Union Conference, 


Alley, Rewi, 164 
Allied Control Commission, 74 
Allies, and post-war Japan, 13-151 


Amerasia, 51-2, 53 
Amery, L. S., 25 
Anami, General, 70 
Anarchists, 145, 146 
Anglo-Japanese Alliance, 24-5 
Anti-Imperialist League, 150 
Anti-War League, 1 1 
Aoyama, Katsuo, 167 
Aoyama, Kazuo, 168 
Appeal to the Japanese People, An, 1 73 
Appeasement by invitation, 38-40 
Application of Capital Law, 65 
Araki, General, 85 
Aristocrats, 10, 13, 14, 17, 37 
AsM, 90, 91, 159 
Ashio mines, 142, 147 
Attu, 88 

Automotive industry, 63 
Awakening Japan, 78 

Baelz, Dr. Erwin, 78 

Balance of power, in post-war 

Orient, 26 

Ballantine, Joseph \V., 51 
Bank of Japan, DO 
Banking, 59, 65-6 
Batsu, 17 
Besshi mines, 142 
Bougainville, 88 
Ehufihism, 79 
Bureaucrats, 13, 17 


Bushido, 96 

Butler, Sir Paul, 20, 22 

Cannery Boat t The, 92 

Capehart, Homer, 23 

Capitalism, 17, 57, 58 

Carlson, Colonel Evans F., 15 

Carlson's Raiders, 15 

Censorship, 15 

Central Association of Life Insurance 

Companies, 71 
Central Bank of the Co-operative 

Societies, 71 
Central Review, intellectual magazine, 


"Chain of Wealth, The", 142 
Chamberlain, Neville, 30 
Chang, Hsueh-liang, 39 
Charlie McCarthy school, 73, 82 
Chatham House, see Royal Institute 

of International Affairs, 20 
Chen, Li-fu, 168 
Chiang Kai-shek, 26, 109 
Chichibu, Prince, 86 
China, 26, 34, 62, 78, 108-9, 151, 


"China crowd**, 50 

Chinese Nationalist Revolution, 147 

Chokugcn, 140 

Choshu clan, 62, 75 

Cheya Shimbun, 77, 102 

Christian Science Monitor, 23 

Chu, Teh, 171 

ChuoKoron, 104, in, 127 

Coal Control Association, 67 

Colleges, democratic thought in, 

Combines. See Trusts 

Commercial Banks Control Associa- 
tion, 66 

Commission to Study the Organisa- 
tion of Peace, 47 

Common People's Paper, 139 

Communism, xo, 12, 14, 21, 26, 36, 93, 
145, 146, 147, 149-50, i52-3 167-8 

Communist League, 186 

Communist Raids, 147 

Congressional Record, 30 
Conscription, 123-4; labour, 156-7 
Conservatives, 12, 13, 26 
Constitution promulgated, 76-8 
Control Associations, 55, 66-7, 68 

Dai Ichi Bank, 66 

Dai Nihon Ski, 75 

Dai Nippon Jinushi Kyokai, 1 26 

Dai Nippon Press Association, 1 1 1 

Dai San Bank, 66 

Daily Mail, London, 26 

"Dangerous thoughts", 10, 19, 61, 

93, 1 06, 146 
Debs, Eugene V., 1 37 
Debtors' Party, 121, 123 
Declaration of the Social Democratic Party, 


Demands of the Soldiers, 77*, 179, 180 
Democracy : ignorance of, 94-5 ; and 

Allied occupation, 95 ; potential, 

97-8; agitation tor, 99-112; 

in post-war Japan, 1 92-3, 1 96-7 
Denver National Opinion Centre, 88 
Depression of 1929, 126-9 
Diamond, 158, 159 
Dickover, Erie R., 51 
Diet, 61, 67, 77, 78, 102 
Disunity, danger from, among United 

Nations, 24, 27-9 
Domei, 69, 99, in, 112, 157 
Dooman, Eugene H., 51, 52-3 
Dubosc, M., 36 

Echigo Plain, 1 1 7 

Economic Research, 105 

Education: control of, 19; of Japan- 
ese captives, 169-77, 179-84 J 
post-war, 190-1 

Eighth Route Army, u, 169, 170, 
171, 177, i?9 f 

Elder Statesmen, 60 

Emergence of Japan as a Modern State, 1 2 1 

Emperor-worship, 12, 19, 5 95. 
186-7; Allied views of, 72-4; 
growth ot 74-81 ; potency of, 81-3 ; 
in post-war Japan, 82-8, 197 

Engcls, Fricdnch, 137 

"Ethical Significance of Worship at 

the Shrines", 104 
Expansion : conciliatory policy of, 34, 

59,62-4; foreign, 57-8, *3-i 

Extremists, struggle with moderates, 
34, 38, 4< 

Facing Two Ways, 108 

Fanaticism, 18, 47, 81, 88, 89-90, 


Far East, American policy in, 29 
Far Eastern Affairs, Office of, 50-4 
Farmer- Labour Party, 12>, 146 
Fascism, military, 13, 14, 36-7, 95, 

107, 130-1, 152, 194 
Federation of Coal Mine Owners, 67 
Federation of Revolutionary Artist* 

and Writers, 163 
Feudal Background of Japanese Politics, 


Fighting Flag, 163 

Fire Pillar, 1 39 

Fleishrr, Wilfred, 48, 51, 190 

Foreign Relations of the United States i 
Jafan, 1931-1941* 47-8 

Foreign trade, 57-8, 62-3 

Forman, Harrison, 181, 184 

Fraternal Society, 143, 145 

Freedom arid People's Rights Move- 
ment, 99 

" Friend of the Miners", 142 

Fuji, 02 

Fujiwara, Ginjiro, 63, 68, 69 

Furui, Yoshimi, 1 1 a 

Gompcrs, Samuel, 143 

Goto, Shojiro, 123 

Great Britain in post-war world, 25-6 

Greater Japan Landlords 1 Aisocia* 
tion, 126 

Grew, Joseph Clark, 20, 73, 74 J P lic y 
towards Japan, 29-31 ; career, 3 1-3; 
Ambassador to Japan, 35-4^ 
42-6 ; Assistant to the Secretary of 
State, 47, 48-50 ; Director of the 
Office of Far Eastern Affairs, 51-4 

Gripshotm, S.S., 46 

Guam, 17, 95-6 

Gufley, Joseph F., 20 

Gumbatsu, 17 

Halscy, Admiral William F., Jn., 16 
Hamada, labour leader, 149 
Harcourt-Smith, Simon, 26 
Heimin Shimbun, 139, 140, 14*1 *43 
Henderson, Sir Ncvile, 31 
Hirano, Rikizo, 132 
Hiras, Hachtsaburo, 67 


Hirohito, Emperor, 20, 23, 44, 60, 61, 
82, 86, 1 86, 197 ; dean of moderates, 
35, 38, 45-6, 48-9 

Hirose, Toyosaku, 71 

Hizen clan, 75 

Hochi, 1 02 

Hoffman, Clare, 23 

Hong Kong, 65 

Hornbeck, Dr. Stanley K., 50-1 

House, Colonel E. M., 32 

House of Peers, 60 

Hulen, Bertram D., 50 

Hull, Cordeil, 50 

Hundred-Regiment Offensive, 177 

I.W.W., 141 

Ikeda, Seihin, 70 

Ikeda, Yuki, 64-5 

Ikki, Baron, 35, 60 

Illinois Education Society, 48 

Imperial Agricultural Society, 129 

Imperial Household Ministry, 60 

Imperial Rule Assistance Association, 

r 69, 109, 153, 158 

India, 25-6 

Indo-China, 62, 65 

Industry, 190; growth of Japanese, 

57~9 63-4 
Institute of Pacific Relations, 20, 


International Congress of Socialists, 

f ?9. 
Inukai Tsuyoshi, 33, 37, 103, 106 

Iron Htel, 139 

Iron and Steel Control Association, 

67, 7i 

Iron and Steel Manufacturers' Federa- 
tion, 67 

Iron Workers* Union, 1 35 

Ise, 80-1 

Ishiguro, Tadaatsu, 71 

Ishimoto, Baroness, 108, 152, 164 

fskra, 139 

Itagaki, Taisuke, 100-1, 122-3 

Ito, Prince, 61, 78 

Iwasaki family, 60 

Iwo Jima, 88 

Japan Advertiser, 92 

japan Chamber of Commerce and 

Industry, 66 

fapan Crowd, 50, 51, 62, 53 
Japan in Defeat, 20-2 
Japan Tw*s t 93 

Japanese Anti-War League, 153, 155, 

167-8, 170, 185 

apanese Board of Information, 1 1 1 
'apancse Commoners' Party, 1 38 
apanesc Communist Party, 186 
apanese Economic Federation, 66 
apanese Federation of Labour, 145, 

146, 148 

Japanese Peasants' Federation, 128 
Japanese Peasants' Society, 128 
Japanese Peasants' Union, 125, 127 
Japanese Peasants' and Worked 

School, 170-7, 179-81 
Japanese Peoples' Emancipation 
League, u, 19, 84, in, 158, 168, 
169, 185-8 

Japanese Soldiers* Delegates Con- 
ference, 178-9 

apanese State Socialist Party, 148 
Japanese Trade Union Congress, i 4 
apanese Trade Union Council, 
"immu, Emperor, 75, 79 
^ingoism, 14, 79, 190, 192 
Jiyu minken undo, 99 
jiyuto, 76, 99-102, 123 
Jones, Lieutenant William, 96 
Jugo Bank, 66 

Kagawa, Toyohiko, 164 

JCaishinto, 100, 101 

KaizOy 1 06, in 

Kaji, Wataru, 11, 84, 155, 162-8, 185 

KambatsU) 17 

Katayama, Sen, 136, 137, 139, 140-2, 

H3> '72 

Kato, Kanju, 150, 151, 152, 160, 161 
Kato, Premier, 60 
Kawasaki Shipbuilding Co., 154 
Kcio University, 105 
Keizaigaku Kmkyu, 105 
Kellogg, Frank B., 32 
"Kick Your Mother and Father", 141 
Kinoshita, Naoe, 139 
Kishi, Shinsuke, 68 
Kobayashi, Takiji, 92, 163 
Koiso, General Kuniaki, 17, 69, 70, 

Kokkai Kisei Domei JCai, 122 
Konoye, Prince, 41, 42-4, 53, 64, 

108, 195 

Koron Sfumpo, 77 
Kotoku Shosui, 137, 138, 139, 140-2, 

! 43 
Kuhara, Fusanosuke, 58-9, 64 

Kuo, Mo-jo, 165 
Kuomintang, 167 
Kurusu, Mr., 23, 45 
Kwantung Army, 1 7, 42 
Kyoto Imperial University, 106 
Kyuminlo, 121 

Labour ; 138 

Labour movement : militarists op- 
pose, 135; growth of, 135-8, 140- 
2, 147-8; and foreign aggression, 
1 48-53; an d World War I, 143- 
6; in World War II, 153-60; in 
post-war Japan, 160-1 

Labour World, 136, 138 

Landlordism, 117-18 

Laokay phosphate deposits, 65 

Lassalle, Ferdinand, 137, 138 

Laval le, Ramon, 30 

League for the Establishment of a 
National Assembly, 122 

League of Nations, 26, 1 48 

Lenin, Nikolai, 139 

Lepanto copper mines, 65 

Liberal decade, 59-60 

Liberal Party, 76, 100-2, 12^-3, 137 

Liberalism, 10, 14, 136; growth of, 

103-12, I21--6 

Liberation Daily, 1 75 

Life Insurance Control Association, 


London, Jack, 1 39 
Lu, Hsun, 164 

Mainichi, 138 

Makino, Count, 35-6, 37, 39, 60 

Manchukuo, 106 

Manchuria, 25, 33, 38, 65, 106, 127, 

128, 130, 148 
Marx, Karl, 137 
Matsudaira, Viscount, 36 
Matsumoto, Kenjiro, 67 
Meiji, Emperor, 44, 45, 76, 78 
Meiji Restoration, 27, 57, 58, 76, 79, 

115, 116, 120, 121 
Mergers, 65-6 
Midway Island, 67 
Militarism, 10, n, 12, 13, 17-18, 35, 

5, 55, 58, 7 129-32, 190, 194-6 
Miners Federation, 150 
Minktn Undo, 76 
Minobe, Dr., 87 

Mvueito Party, 61-2, 107, 109, 151 
Mitsubishi Bank, 66 

Mitsubishi, House of, 35, 54, 60, 61, 

62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 85, 101 
Mitsubishi Warehouse Company, 65 
Mitsui Bank Ltd., 66 
Mitsui, House of, 34, 54, 6 1, 62, 64, 

65 B 

Mitsui Mining Company, 65 
Moderates, 45, 109; described, 33-4, 

38 ; struggle against extremists, 34, 

38, 41 ; appeasement by invitation, 


Mohammedanism, Hi 
Atombatsu, 17 
Monopolies, (>5--<>, 72 
M'jri, Km, 171 

Mori, Major-Cirriernl Masamitsu, 159 
Morito, Professor, 105 
Moscow, 40 
Movement for the Defence of km 

slitutional Politics, 103 
Munitions, 63 ; Ministry of, 68, 69-70 
Musanto, 150 
\luto, Sariji, 61 

N. Y. K., 60,62 

Nagaoka, labour leader, 142 

Nakajimn, 63 

Nakano, Seigo, 68-9 

Nasu, Major-General, 110 

Nation, the, 30, 52 

National Council of Trade Union, 

150, 152 
National Industrial Service Associa- 

tion, 153 

National Mobilization Iaw, 153 
Native-Land-Loving School, 131 
Nehru, Jawaharlal, 26 
New Economic Structure, 66 
"New Far Eastern Policy, A", 51 
New Man Society, 104, 162 
New Society, 130 
New Tork Herald Tribune, 23, 48 
New Tork Times, 50 

News of the Social Movement, 127 
"Next Will Come Paper Bomb*'*, 80 
Jfahi Nichi, 149 
Nrigata Shimbun, 102 
Nippon, 149 
Nippon Chu 

uya Bank, 66 
Nippon Nomin Ktaniai, 12 

Nippon Nomin Ktaniai, 125, 128 
Nippon Nomin Sodomei, 128 
Nippon Rodo Kumiai Hyogikai, 146 
Nippon Rodo Kwniai Kaigi, 148 

Nippon Railway Company, 136 

Nippon Seitetsu, 71 

Nippon Steamship Company, 58 

Niroku Shimpa, 138 

Niahio, General Juzo, 134 

Nisbio, Suchiro, 149 

Nissan firm, 64 

Nomin Rodoto, 125 

Nomura, Admiral, 23 

Nomura Bank, 66 

Norman, E. Herbert, 100, 121 

Northern Court, 75 

Nosaka, Tetsuo, 144 

Occupation, Allied, of post-war 

Japan, 13-15 
Oi, Kantaro, 137 
Oji Paper Company, 63 
Okano, Susumu, n, 84-5, 144, 145, 

162, 168-9, 170, 172-4* 1 77> '85, 

186, 187 

Okinawa, 75, 88 

Okuma, Count Shigenobu, 101, 102 
Old Gang, 13, 21, 24, 28, 53-4, 17- 

\9> I 9 I > 192 

Oligarchy, 13, 16-17, 59-60, 78, 192 
Oliver, Lieutenant John, 96 
Oriental Economist, 159 
Osaka Asahi, 1 03 
Osaka Heimin, 141 
Osugi, Sakac, 146 
Ozaki, Yukio, 99, 101-3, 105-6, 107, 

109-10, 112 

PM> 30, 48 

Pacificus, 52 

Paine, Tom, 100 

Peace, negotiated, 16 

Peace Preservation Laws, 61, 76, 102, 
1 06 

Pearl Harbour, 9, 1 7, 42, 46, 66 

Peasantry, 10, n, 113-20; revolts, 
120-1, 123-4, 125; organizes, 121- 
3, 124-6; and crisis of 1929, 126- 
9; in World War II, 129-34 

Peasants Union, 146 

Peers' Bank, 66 

People's Rights Movement, 76 

Perry, Commodore, 102, 103 

Phi Beta Kappa, 104 

Philippine Islands, 17> 65 

Plain Speaking, weekly, 140 

Plekhanov, George, 140 

Police, 19, 91-3 


Police Law of 1900, 144 
Poor People's Party, 121 
Popular front, 151 
Positive school, 34, 59 
Progressive Party, 100, 101 
Proletarian Party, 150, 151, 152 
Propaganda, 19, 90-1, 93-5 96-7, 

166-8, 180-5 
Public Peace Police Law, 124, 136 

Radio, in psychological warfare, 91 

Reconstruction, intellectual magazine, 

Record, Philadelphia, 30 

Red Flag Riot, 142 

Redman, H. Verc, 73 

"Reflections on Contemporary Poli- 
tics", 1 06 

Reform: basis of post-war, 9-15; 
agrarian, n, 26, 113-14, 199-200 

Report from Red China, 181 

Report from Tokyo, 47 

Rice Riots, 60, 125, 144 

Roosevelt, Franklin D., 39, 41 

Roosevelt, Theodore, 27, 31 

Royal Institute of International 
Affairs, 20 

Russia. See Soviet Union 

Russian Revolution, Japan and, 103 

Russo-Japanese War, 24, 27, 58, 80, 

Sabotage, 159 

Saionji, Prince, 35, 60 

Saipan, 69, 90, 91, 03 

Saito, Viscount Takao, 37, 38, 109, 


Sakai, Toshihiko, 139, 140, 145 
Sakara, Zawa, 1 1 1 
Sampo, 15 
Sangyo Hoi 
Sanwa T 

Shibusawa, Baron, 143 

Shjdehara, Baron Kijuro, 34, 60, 6a 

Shikoku, 100 

ShwShaluti, 139 

Shin Daihatsu, 1 7, 64 

Shinjinkai, 104 

Shintoism, 40-9, 79-81, 87 

Shiomi, Seisaku, 166 

Shipbuilding, 63 

Shogunate, 75-6, 115, 116 

Showa Bank, 66 

Shrines, 80, 87 

Sino-American Institute of Cultural 

Relations, 168 
Sino-Japanese War, 3 1 , 39 ; of 1 894-5, 

58, 80, 135 
Smedley, Agnes, 166 
Smuts, Field-Marshal, 25 
Snow, Edgar, 163 

Social Democratic Party, 137, 139, 148 
Social Mass Party, 107, 137, 148, ir,i, 

152, 153 

Social Party, 121 
Socialism, 137-42 
Socialist Association, 138, 140 
Socialist News, 141, 143 
Socialist Party, 140-1 
Society for the Investigation of New 

Literature, 162 
Society of Patriots, 122 
Society for the Promotion of Trade 

Unions, 135 

Society of Reservists, 130 
Society of Sincere Persons, 1 42 
Soldiers Friend, 149 
Solomon Islands, 67 
Son of Heaven, 80 
Sonobc, Lieut.-General, 167 
Southern Court, 75 
Sovereignty, problem of, 101 
Soviet Union, 14, 26, 134, 151, 


Spirit of Japanese Industry, 63 
Stability, theory of, 19-22, 53> 54 


Stalingrad, 40 
Stein,. Guenther, 186-7 
Stimson, Henry L., 25, 33, 39 
Stone, I. F., 30, 48 
"Study of the Social Thought of 

Kropotkin", 105 
Suetsugu, Admiral Nobumasa, 108, 


, universal male, 61, 146 

Sugimoto, Kaiuo, 179 

Suicide, 89-90 

Sumitomo Bank, 66 

Sumitomo, House of, 35, 54, 60, 65, 


Sun Goddess, 75, 79, 80, 81 
Sun, Fo, 49 
Sun Yat-scn, 49 
Surrender, unconditional, 16, 188- 

200 ; conditional, 22-3 
Suzuki, Admiral Baron Kantaro, 18, 

23* 70 

Suzuki, Bunji, 128, 143, 145, 148, 
149. '52, 16 1 

Tarhibana, Kosaburo, 131 

Tarawa, Daikichiro, 1 10, 112 

Takayama, Susumu, 171, 176 

Taki, 96 

Takikawa, Yokitalsu, 106 

'ianaka, General Baron, 34, 59, 6a, 

I2f>. 147 

Tanaka, Kyuga, 115 

Tanaka Memorial, 34, 6a 

Tani, V'wcount, 27, 20, 124 

Tanikawa, Naoyuki, 177-80 

Tarawa, 16 

Taylor, George, 35 

Tcikoku Bank, 66 

Teikoku Shimfto, 1 05 

Temps \ Paris, 36 

Ten Tears in Japan, 38, 39-40, 52 

Terauchi, Premier Marshal, 60, no 

Time, 51 

Togo, Mr., 44 

Tohakai, 68 

Tojo, General Hideki, 17, 41-4, 65, 

66, 67-8, 69, 85, 1 10 
Tokai Bank, 66 
Tokashiki, 89 
Tokkoka, 193 
Tokugawa, Prince, 37 
Tokyo Asahi, 103 
Tokyo Imperial Univcnaty, 104, 105, 

106, 108 

Tokyo Mainichi Shimbun, 1 10 
Torture, 92, 93 
Tosa clan, 75 

Toyoda, Admiral Teiiiro, 7 1 
Trade Union Council, 147 
Truman, Harry S M 23 
Trusts, financial, 17, 54-5, 71 
Tsuchi II, Emperor, 75 
Tsukada, Dr. Isaku, 159 

Tsushima, Juichi, 69-70 
Tuberculosis, 19, 157 

U.S.S.R. See Soviet Union 

Ueki, Emori, 100 

United States : in post-war world, 25 ; 

Far Eastern policy, 29, 34. 
Universal Suffrage Association, 1 37 
Universities, democratic thought in, 


Versailles Treaty, 188 

Wake, 17 

Wilson, Woodrow, 103 

Workers and Peasants Party, 147, 163 

World War I, Japan in, 27-8, 58, 

103, 124 
World War II, 64-5, 67 ; Japan enters, . 

41-6, 47 

Yamagata, Field-Marshal, 124 
Yamakazi, Minister of Agriculture, 

Yamanashi, Prince, 162 

Yano, Fumio, 139 

Yaskuni, 80, 81, 87, 104 

Yasuda Bank, 66 

Yasuda combine, 54 

Yasui, Ueut.-Gen. Toji, 70 

Yawata Iron Foundry, 150 

Yokphoma Specie Bank, 60 

Tomiuri, 68 

Yonai, Admiral Mitsumasa, 23, 69 

Torozuy 138, 139 

Yoshino, Dr. Sakuzo, 104-5, *62 

Yuaikaiy 143 

Zacharias, Capt. E. M., 22 

Zaibatsu, 17, 118, 190, 192, 196, 199; 
growth and influence of, 54-5, 57- 
9 59-^1 J dangers of, 55-7, 71-2; 
foreign policy, 61-4 ; in Pacific War, 
64-5, 67-71 ; and Control Associa- 
tions, 66-7 

Zenkoku Nomin Kaigi, 128 

Zjenkoku Rodo Kumiai Hyogikai, 150 

Zola, Emile, 138